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World Allergy Organization Highlights Global Allergy Impact
Date:6/17/2008

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, June 17 /PRNewswire/ --

- First World Allergy Report Calls for Urgent Worldwide Collaboration to Tackle Global Increase in Allergies and Allergic Diseases

The World Allergy Organization (WAO) will publish its first Report on the extent of allergy and chronic respiratory diseases worldwide on the 18 June 2008 and has called for immediate collaboration to tackle the current escalation in allergy cases. In the last 20-30 years, the prevalence of allergic diseases has increased significantly - a trend that shows no signs of abating. It is estimated that 400 million people worldwide experience allergic rhinitis and 300 million people worldwide have asthma(1) with estimated economic costs exceeding those of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.(2) One of the most alarming findings from the report is that while the incidence of allergy and associated diseases has increased significantly, the number of healthcare professionals trained in the diagnosis and treatment of allergy has decreased, leaving many patients undiagnosed and untreated. The State of World Allergy Report is a first yet fundamental step towards addressing this situation.

Professor G. Walter Canonica, President of the WAO, comments on the findings of the Report: "This first State of World Allergy Report presents a concerning picture of the rising prevalence of all types of allergic diseases, such as allergic asthma, food allergies, anaphylaxis and rhinoconjunctivitis. However, healthcare resources are not increasing commensurately; there is a pressing need for improved access worldwide to licensed allergy medications. The WAO is at the forefront to analyse, address and respond to these challenges."

- Allergies are a major problem in the 21st Century - it is predicted to worsen as this century moves forward (1)

- Due to a changing world climate, higher standards of hygiene and rapid industrialisation of developing nations, allergies are becoming more prevalent, more complex and more aggressive, with patients frequently suffering multiple allergic disorders that are no longer confined to specific seasons or locations and may be caused by a multitude of natural and synthetic substances not in our environment 20 years ago

- Environmental changes have a significant impact on patients' quality of life and work productivity

- Allergic diseases are one of the most frequent reasons for patients to seek medical care

Professor Canonica highlights the role of the WAO in addressing the global allergy situation: "The WAO is determined to provide a framework for the collaboration among physicians, scientists and government officials to address the global allergy problem, in particular the medical, social and economic issues associated with allergic diseases."

The full Report will be available at http://www.waojournal.org from 18 June 2008.

For further information

This activity has been supported by an unrestricted educational grant from UCB, Nestle and Stallergenes.

References

1) World Allergy Organization. State of World Allergy Report 2008 - Allergy and chronic respiratory diseases. World Allergy Organization Journal e-supplement

2)http://www.worldallergy.org/professional/allergic_diseases_center/all er

gic_asthma/ (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)

For media enquiries, please contact Karen Henley on khenley@worldallergy.org or the WAO, Milwaukee, USA on +1-4142761791.


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SOURCE The World Allergy Organization (WAO)
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