Conference Coverage

Climate change is worsening allergies, expert says



– Climate change is not just eroding coastlines and threatening seaside cities and taking lives with increasingly powerful hurricanes, but appears to be contributing to increases in allergy and asthma, an expert told the audience at the joint congress of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the World Asthma Organization.

Longer pollen seasons, allergens unleashed by felled trees and ripped-up plants, mold growth following floods, and irritants launched into the air by wildfires are some of the concerns that should be alarming physicians and policy makers, said Nelson A. Rosario, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Federal University of Paraná (Brazil).

Dr. Nelson A. Rosario is a professor of pediatrics at Federal University of Paraná (Brazil). Thomas R. Collins/Frontline Medical Communications

Dr. Nelson A. Rosario

“This is related to disease,” he said. “I’m trying to convince you that something is happening. This is not a matter of believe it or not.”

And evidence suggests that his fellow allergists and their patients agree.

A 2015 international survey found that 80% of rhinitis patients blamed climate change for contributing to their symptoms.

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