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Austin Named the New 'Fall Allergy Capital'
Date:11/16/2007

But New Rankings Show No City Is Allergy-Free

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- No city in the U.S. is free from allergies this fall, and some cities are much worse than others according to the results of an annual scientific report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The Foundation recently announced its annual Fall Allergy Capital(TM) rankings for 2007 and Austin, Texas, was crowned "the most challenging place to live with fall allergies" this year.

"Austin has been on the list for several years, but this is its first year at the top," said Angel Waldron, a spokesperson for AAFA. "Every year this report is a reminder to millions of people with seasonal allergies that the fall is as bad, or worse, than the spring for allergy symptoms."

The nonprofit Foundation's rankings are based on key environmental and medical factors for the 100 largest metropolitan areas, including fall pollen levels, patient medication usage and the number of Board Certified allergists per patient in the area. The top five cities this year are:

1. Austin, TX

2. San Antonio, TX

3. Oklahoma City, OK

4. Lakeland, FL

5. Orlando, FL

Researchers ranked Austin #1 this year due to unusually high fall pollen levels, high usage of allergy medications by patients, and a low number of Board Certified allergists compared to the national average. Detailed rankings for 100 cities, the methodology, and free information about allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment are available online at http://www.AllergyCapitals.com.

AAFA reports that seasonal allergies affect more than 35 million Americans, costing the U.S. economy more than $7 billion annually in direct medical costs and indirect productivity costs. 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," says Waldron. "People need to be prepared with prevention tips and allergy treatments no matter where they live," she says. Waldron added, "Get to a doctor now to make sure your allergies are under control."

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 funds research to find cures. Log on to http://www.AllergyCapitals.com for more information about the 2007 Fall Allergy Capitals and AAFA.


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SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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