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Americans Suffer From Allergies in Record Numbers

It doesn't surprise me at all to learn that more than half of Americans are sensitive to one or more allergens, twice the number who suffered from them just three decades ago, according to a new study (see free text link below).

Among the more potent allergens that may be affecting you inside your home or outdoors includes dust mites (27.5 percent), cats (17 percent), Bermuda grass (18.1 percent) and peanuts (8.6 percent). Even more bad news: Although researchers believe asthma rates may have peaked, the number of Americans suffering from allergies is still rising.

Those at the highest risk for allergic responses include:

  • Males
  • Patients between ages 20-29
  • Those who live in old homes or in the Western United States
  • People not exposed to cigarette smoke

Researchers were dead on regarding some of the reasons people are suffering from allergies in record numbers. For one, Americans just don't go outside often enough, spending about 90 percent of their time indoors (which means getting outside in the sunshine would do you a lot of good).

And, children become especially prone to allergies if they are exposed to fewer bacteria and viruses that help them to boost their natural immunity, meaning they may have been overexposed to antibiotics.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol. 116, No. 2, August 2005: 377-383 Free Full Text Article

USA Today August 8, 2005

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