-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hay fever is more common
among children in the southern and southeastern United States than
in other regions, according to a large new study.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 91,000 children, aged
17 and younger, across the United States and found that more than
18 percent of them had hay fever, also called allergic
Hay fever rates were highest in southern and southeastern
regions. The lowest rates were in Alaska, Montana and Vermont,
according to a study presented this week at a meeting of the
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in
These regional differences are most likely due to climate
factors such as temperature, precipitation and levels of
ultraviolet light from the sun, said Dr. Michael Foggs, ACAAI
"Wetter regions with average humidity were associated with a decreased number of children with hay fever," Foggs said in an organization news release. "The study also found that areas of the South with warm temperatures and elevated UV [ultraviolet] indexes seem to harbor more hay fever sufferers."
Hay fever triggers are difficult to avoid, so there's no point
in moving to a different part of the country in an attempt help
relieve allergies, Dr. Stanley Fineman, former ACAAI president,
said in the news release.
"An allergy sufferer may escape one allergy to ragweed for example, only to develop sensitivity to other allergens, such as grasses, in a new location," Fineman said.
"Allergens, such as pollen, can be found in virtually all regions, including Hawaii, Alaska and Maine, making avoidance nearly impossible," he said. "This study shows that climate truly influences allergens, which can ultimately trigger symptoms in those affected."
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the
conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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