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Survey reveals the real impact of hayfever

The burden of hay fever has caused one in three adults in Latin America to take time off work, while 50 per cent of children have seen their academic performance fall due to nasal allergies

The burden of hay fever (allergic rhinitis) has caused one in three adults in Latin America to take time off work, while 50 per cent of children have seen their academic performance fall due to nasal allergies.

These findings came out of the most comprehensive multi-national survey conducted across the region.  

The research, Allergies in Latin America, claims to be the first of its kind to elicit feedback from so many respondents: a total of 1,546 respondents (1,088 adults plus 458 children) from eight countries; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Participants were diagnosed with hay fever, allergic rhinitis or nasal allergies, and were symptomatic or had received treatment for nasal allergies in the past 12 months.

In line with similar results for European countries, results revealed that even where adults were not so ill as to stay off work, productivity declined on days when symptoms were at their worst.

Respondents also reported that symptoms affected their daily family life and social lives, while many felt that their current treatment regimes were ineffective.

·    Nearly one in every two adults said allergic rhinitis affected family life and social activities
·    50 per cent complained that symptoms limited their ability to exercise, while a third said they lacked a good night's sleep during allergy season – and therefore felt tired, and irritable  (plus one in four felt anxious) as a result

Children suffering from nasal allergies said it limited their activities with friends (37 per cent) and families (41 per cent), while the worst symptoms deteriorated academic performance by 35 per cent.

More than half of child respondents felt unable to cope without their medication, however more than two-thirds of those who were dissatisfied with their medicine revealed that it did not provide 24 hour relief.

The survey was sponsored by European group Nycomed, to support the Latin American launch (starting with Brazil) of Omnaris (ciclesonide) nasal spray.

10th July 2009

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