Research from the 2013 meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests that living in the South can increase a child’s risk of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.
“The study found more than 18 percent of children and adolescents have hay fever in the United States, with the highest frequency in the southeastern and southern regions of the country,” said allergist Dr. Michael Foggs in a press release.
The study drew on data from more than 91,000 children from across the United States, aged 17 and younger.
The study authors found that wetter regions were associated with a lower rate of hay fever, while areas with a higher UV index and warm temperatures appeared to be linked to higher rates of hay fever. Alaska, Vermont and Montana were found to have the lowest levels overall.
The ACAAI stresses that moving to a new location is not a good strategy to manage seasonal allergies. “An allergy sufferer may escape one allergy to ragweed for example, only to develop sensitivity to other allergens, such as grasses, in a new location,” said allergist Dr. Stanley Fineman in a press release.