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AAFA
Chicago Named #1 Fall Allergy Capital in 2005

Fall is More Challenging Than Spring for Millions With Allergies

Contact:       Angel Waldron at 202-466-7643, x248

Fall Allergy CapitalsWASHINGTON, September 27, 2005 -- Once again, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is warning people that seasonal allergies in the fall can cause problems for millions in cities all across the country. Their annual Fall Allergy Capital rankings – the most challenging cities to live in for people with fall allergies – was just released and Chicago, IL, ranks as the #1 Fall Allergy Capital this year.

Researchers ranked the 2005 Fall Allergy Capitals based on several environmental and medical factors, including pollen levels and medication usage in each city. Topping the rankings for 2005 is Chicago, IL, which has some of the highest fall pollen levels, patient medication usage and a lower-than-average number of board certified allergists per patient. Three cities in Florida were named among the top 10 including, Tampa (#3), Daytona, (#4) and Melbourne (#10).

AAFA reports that seasonal allergies affect more than 35 million Americans, costing the U.S. economy more than $7 billion annually. Among adults, allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease and a major cause of work absenteeism, or “presenteeism,” resulting in nearly 4 million missed or lost workdays each year, accounting for more than $700 million in total lost productivity. “Allergy is a serious disease,” Mike Tringale, Director of Communications for AAFA, “and these rankings send a message that fall allergies can seriously affect every city.”

The Fall Allergy Capitals were identified and ranked based on the impact that the following key environmental and medical factors have on the severity of allergies in each city, including: recorded and estimated pollen levels, use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications per capita, and number of Board Certified allergists per capita.

"The Fall Allergy Capitals list should make a person think twice before assuming that their runny nose, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and itchy throat are due to a cold," says Dr. Derek Johnson, MD, an allergist at Temple University Medical Center and a medical advisor to AAFA. "These are classic symptoms of seasonal allergies.  When it comes to seasonal allergies, don't move to another city! Instead, think about having a year-round plan for preventing and managing your allergies," said Johnson.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading nonprofit consumer and patient organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information to the public, offers educational programs to consumers and health professionals, leads advocacy efforts to improve patient care, and supports research to find cures.

Top 25 Fall Allergy Capitals for 2005 
(Click here for PDF of complete 100 rankings and methodology)

Rank

Metropolitan Area

Score

1

Chicago, IL

100

2

Little Rock, AR

99.75

3

Tampa, FL

98.47

4

Daytona Beach, FL

98.46

5

South Bend, IN

96.71

6

Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX

95.4

7

Tulsa, OK

93.44

8

Oklahoma City, OK

93.08

9

Stockton, CA

93.06

10

Melbourne, FL

92.98

11

Omaha, NE

92.49

12

McAllen, TX

92.19

13

San Antonio, TX

92.13

14

Austin, TX

91.53

15

Lexington, KY

91.49

16

Orlando, FL

90.84

17

Louisville, KY

90.82

18

Saint Louis, MO

90.63

19

Nashville, TN

90.42

20

Madison, WI

90.13

21

Knoxville, TN

89.88

22

Jackson, MS

88.32

23

Johnson City, TN

88.3

24

Modesto, CA

88.23

25

Sacramento, CA

78.53

This year's research was sponsored in part by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a member of the sanofi-aventis Group, www.sanofi-aventis.us.

Pollen.comSpecial thanks to our research partner Pollen.com, a division of Surveillance Data, Inc.

* "Pollen score" is comprised of comprehensive recorded levels of airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores, and prevalence data for each of these specific types of allergens.   

 
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