A study is being presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). The study has found hay fever to be more prevalent in children living in the south-eastern and southern states of the USA. Is this co-incidence or are children in southern USA at greater risk of hay fever?
More than 18% of children and adolescents have hay fever in the United States, with the highest frequency of sufferers occurring in the southern states. While the reason for this increased percentage in childhood hay fever in these states is unknown, allergist Michael Foggs, MD, ACAAI president elect says that it is “…most likely due to climate factors”.
Environmental influences such as temperature, precipitation and UV index seem to be responsible for the increase in allergy sufferers.
The study found that the states with the lowest number of young hay fever sufferers were Alaska, Montana and Vermont (wetter regions with average humidity).
The AACAI warns that allergens are difficult to avoid, and parents shouldn’t consider moving to help their children find allergy relief. An allergy sufferer may escape one allergen such as ragweed, only to develop sensitivity to a different allergen such as grass, in another location.
Hay fever occurs most commonly in the spring and autumn/fall months but can last year round for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies.
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There are lots of interesting articles and up to date USA allergy news on the ACAAI website www.acaai.org/ .