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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ragweed pollen season is earlier and longer

Climate change will have enormous effects on human health. It may profoundly modify exposure to pollens of invasive species and therefore modify allergic diseases with anticipated increases in prevalence and severity. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that the length of the ragweed season in some northern U.S. states has grown by more than two weeks since 1995, and the length of the ragweed season in some areas of Canada has been extended by nearly a month. According to lead author Lewis Ziska (Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture), as quoted in a U.S. News & Report article about the study, "This study is a confirmation of what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been projecting. We've gone from a theoretical projection of changes in the timing of ragweed season, to boots on the ground starting to see it happen." This increased length of the season might be associated with increased prevalence in allergy.

Is this apparent in your clinical practice?

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