Climate change may extend allergy season: study

WASHINGTON Tue Mar 2, 2010 1:13pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sneezing, congestion, and runny noses from hay fever may be lasting longer because climate change may be extending pollen seasons, doctors in Italy said on Monday.

Pollen seasons as well as the amount of pollen in the air progressively increased during a 26-year study in Italy, the doctors told a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in New Orleans.

The team at Genoa University recorded pollen counts, how long pollen seasons lasted and sensitivity to five types of pollen in the Bordighera region of Italy from 1981 to 2007.

"By studying a well-defined geographical region, we observed that the progressive increase of the average temperature has prolonged the duration of the pollen seasons of some plants and, consequently, the overall pollen load," Dr. Walter Canonica, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

The percentage of patients with reactions to the allergens increased throughout the study but it is not clear whether longer pollen seasons actually put more people at risk for developing allergies, the researchers said.

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is a reaction to indoor or outdoor airborne allergens, such as pollen.

"Longer pollen seasons and high levels of pollen certainly can exacerbate symptoms for people with allergic rhinitis and for those who previously had minimal symptoms," said the AAAAI's Estelle Levetin, who was not involved in the study.

About 25 million Americans, nearly half of them children, had hay fever in the past year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (3)
logic wrote:
Climat change is a myth. It was cold somewhere in Alaska today. That proves it.

Palin for Prez

Mar 02, 2010 1:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sdlawrence wrote:
So, you’ll leave a lefty moron’s comment on when it pretends to be skeptical, but is obviously just an idiot posing as a skeptic to make them look bad, but you deleted my comment, which (unlike this post) was not offensive, attacked nobody, and addressed the substance of the article?

Et tu, Reuters?

Mar 02, 2010 10:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sdlawrence wrote:
Hey, whoever you are, censoring comments on the basis of your own personal sensibilities — you know who (and what) you are. And just think, you wake up every morning, and you’re still you. Now how horrible is that?

Mar 02, 2010 10:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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