2004 Spring Allergy Capitals(TM) identified

04/21/04

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America pinpoints worst cities for allergy sufferers

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) put seasonal allergies "on the map" today by revealing the nation's top 100 Spring Allergy CapitalsTM – the most severe cities for people with allergies. Spring is the worst time of year for allergy sufferers from Atlanta, GA to Phoenix, AZ. AAFA ranked the Allergy CapitalsTM based on the impact that key environmental and medical factors have on the severity of allergies in each market. Americans aren't taught about Allergy CapitalsTM in geography, so AAFA made Allergy CapitalsTM part of the Foundation's Allergy Action Plan to help consumers recognize, prevent and safely treat allergy symptoms.

The top ten 2004 Spring Allergy CapitalsTM are:

    1. Atlanta, GA
    2. Augusta-Aiken, GA-SC
    3. Louisville, KY
    4. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
    5. St. Louis, MO
    6. Austin-San Marcos, TX
    7. Springfield, MA
    8. Little Rock, AR
    9. Knoxville, TN
    10. Allentown-Bethlehem, PA

A complete list can be found on the consumer Web site www.allergyactionplan.com.

"Allergy sufferers who live in a Spring Allergy CapitalTM should plan ahead," says Dr. Derek Johnson, an allergist at Temple University Medical Center and a medical advisor to AAFA. "An allergy sufferer can create their own Allergy Action Plan by visiting allergyactionplan.com. After answering a few questions, you will receive a personal plan that includes helpful information on allergy triggers, prevention and treatment."

The Web site, www.allergyactionplan.com, contains tips for preventing spring allergies, and allows consumers to check their local allergy forecast. Consumers can also sign up for Allergy AlertTM e-mails that are sent when pollen counts are elevated.

"Our research shows us that consumers want – and need – more information about how to deal with their allergy symptoms, especially when it comes to treatment," says Dr. Johnson. "When prevention is not enough, allergy sufferers have the option of non-drowsy, 24-hour allergy medication, such as AlavertTM and Claritin®, that are available without a prescription. If your symptoms don't improve, you should see your doctor."

"In response to the interest in last year's Allergy CapitalsTM, we decided to map out the 2004 Spring Allergy CapitalsTM to show how cities can rank differently every year based on certain factors," says Mike Tringale, director of marketing communications for AAFA. "We looked at a city's pollen levels, use of allergy medication and the number of allergists in the area. Since allergies affect 35 million people from coast to coast, it is important for people to develop an Allergy Action Plan this spring."

Here are how some 2004 Allergy CapitalsTM compare with the 2003 rankings:

    - This 2004 spring allergy season will be much more severe in Austin, TX and Baltimore, MD compared to last year.

    - Allergy sufferers in Hartford, CT should breathe easier this spring because they had one of the biggest drops, moving from number six in 2003 to number 35 in the 2004 Allergy CapitalsTM rankings.

    - Allergy sufferers living in Eugene, OR; Lubbock, TX and Reno, NV will also experience a much less severe season in 2004.

    - In Houston, TX, allergy sufferers can expect this year's allergy season to be similar to last year's since this was the only city to maintain the same ranking of 20 in both 2003 and 2004.

More About Spring Allergy CapitalsTM

The Spring Allergy CapitalsTM ranking is part of the Foundation's Allergy Action Plan, a multi-year campaign to help consumers recognize, prevent and safely treat allergy symptoms.

The Allergy CapitalsTM were identified and ranked based on the impact that the following key environmental and medical factors have on the severity of allergies in each market:

  • City's pollen levels
  • Use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication per capita
  • Number of Board Certified allergists per capita

Each factor was weighted, in consultation with medical and research experts, to reflect its relative importance as an indicator of allergy severity. The weighted factors were then tallied to assign a total score that determined the ranking as a Spring Allergy CapitalTM.

The following list includes 1 through 50 of America's Top 100 Spring Allergy CapitalsTM for 2004:

1. Atlanta, GA
2. Augusta-Aiken, GA-SC
3. Louisville, KY
4. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
5. St. Louis, MO
6. Austin-San Marcos, TX
7. Springfield, MA
8. Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR
9. Knoxville, TN
10. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA
11. Orlando, FL
12. Jackson, MS
13. Tulsa, OK
14. Chattanooga, TN
15. Nashville, TN
16. Lexington, KY
17. Columbia, SC
18. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
19. Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC
20. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX
21. San Antonio, TX
22. Jacksonville, FL
23. Philadelphia, PA
24. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
25. Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC
26. Johnson City, TN
27. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
28. Memphis, TN
29. Madison, WI
30. Wichita, KS
31. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
32. Boston, MA
33. Indianapolis, IN
34. Albuquerque, NM
35. Hartford, CT
36. Kansas City, MO-KS
37. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
38. Las Vegas, NV
39. Des Moines, IA
40. Tucson, AZ
41. Charleston-North Charleston, SC
42. Baltimore-Hagerstown, MD
43. Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI
44. Fort Wayne, IN
45. Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, MI
46. Lansing-East Lansing, MI
47. Oklahoma City, OK
48. New York, NY
49. Birmingham, AL
50. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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