2008 Spring Allergy Capitals Announced

Lexington, KY, Takes the Lead

WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) revealed the nation's new top 100 Spring Allergy Capital(TM) today -- the most challenging places to live for people with spring allergies. Spring is the worst time of year for many allergy sufferers from Lexington, KY (ranked #1), to Spokane, WA (#100), this year. AAFA ranks the Spring Allergy Capitals based on the impact that key environmental and medical factors have on allergic individuals in each metropolitan area.

More than 35 million Americans have allergic rhinitis, more commonly called hay fever or nasal allergies. AAFA publishes the rankings every year to help patients and consumers recognize, prevent and safely treat their allergy symptoms.

The top 2008 Spring Allergy Capitals this year are:

1. Lexington, KY

2. Greensboro, NC

3. Johnson City, TN

4. Augusta, GA

5. Jackson, MS

6. Knoxville, TN

7. Birmingham, AL

8. New Orleans, LA

9. Little Rock, AR

10. San Diego, CA

A complete list of the rankings for 100 metropolitan areas can be found at http://www.allergycapitals.com.

"Allergy sufferers who live in a Spring Allergy Capital should plan ahead," says Dr. Alpen Patel, an Otolaryngologist at Emory University. "Our research shows us that consumers want -- and need -- more information about how to deal with their allergy symptoms, especially when it comes to treatment," says Dr. Patel.

"Anyone who lives in an Allergy Capital should take the necessary steps to minimize the impact of allergies on their life," says Mike Tringale, Director of External Affairs for AAFA. "The ranking is a great tool to help increase awareness about what allergy sufferers can do to avoid allergy triggers and manage symptoms so they can enjoy the spring season, no matter where they live."

The rankings are based on the impact that key factors have on the severity of allergies in each city, including:

• Detailed seasonal pollen counts and related measures

• Use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications

• Number of Board Certified allergists

Each factor was weighted to reflect its relative importance as an indicator of allergy severity or quality of life. The weighted factors were then tallied to assign a total score that determined the final rankings.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the largest and oldest nonprofit consumer and patient organization in the world 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 supports research to find cures. For more information, visit http://www.aafa.org.

SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

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