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.
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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 Baltimore.
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 president-elect.
"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.
"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 peer-reviewed journal.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, Nov. 8, 2013
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