Louisville, Kentucky Named Allergy Capital Of The United States
April 1, 2014

Louisville, Kentucky Named Allergy Capital Of The United States

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Each year in the United States millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, with some cities being more problematic than others. An annual “Allergy Capitals” research project developed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) identifies which cities are the “most challenging places to live with allergies.”

Each year AAFA compiles a list of the 100 cities in the US that affect allergy sufferers the most. The list is published for the fall and spring allergy seasons and includes data for pollen scores – airborne grass, tree, weed and mold spores – and for number of allergy medications used per patient and number of allergy specialists per patient.

There are an estimated 45 million Americans living with some form of nasal allergy, with another 25 million having asthma. People with allergies and asthma are already sensitive to things like pollen, mold and other airborne allergens and are also more susceptible to rapid changes in temperature and moisture, as well as more prone to catching colds and flu.

As the winter transitions to spring, people with allergies are at risk of multiple symptoms simultaneously. In fact, in many regions this year sporadic warm days followed snowy days, releasing more mold into the atmosphere and wreaking more havoc on allergy sufferers, according to the AAFA.

"No matter what time of the year it is, and no matter what Mother Nature sends our way, people with allergies need to be prepared,” Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY and an ambassador for the AAFA, said in a statement to HuffPost.

This year, AAFA named Louisville, Kentucky as the #1 Spring Allergy Capital due to higher than average pollen counts, high use of allergy medications by local patients and too few allergy specialists to handle patients. AAFA compiled data based on all factors, giving Louisville a total score of 100.

The AAFA’s top ten Allergy Capitals are:

  1. Louisville, KY with a score of 100
  2. Memphis, TN with a score of 97.10
  3. Baton Rouge, LA with a score of 91.93
  4. Oklahoma City, OK with a score of 91.19
  5. Jackson, MS with a score of 90.61.
  6. Chattanooga, TN with a score of 90.18
  7. Dallas, TX with a score of 88.82
  8. Richmond, VA with a score of 88.68
  9. Birmingham, AL with a score of 87.81
  10. McAllen, TX with a score of 87.61

The only northern state included in the top 20 cities is Providence, Rhode Island, which came in at #17 with a score of 81.69.

For comparison, the following is a list of last year’s top Allergy Capitals:

  1. Jackson, Mississippi
  2. Knoxville, Tennessee
  3. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  4. McAllen, Texas
  5. Louisville, Kentucky
  6. Wichita, Kansas
  7. Dayton, Ohio
  8. Memphis, Tennessee
  9. Oklahoma City
  10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

To see a full list of the 100 most challenging cities go to the AAFA's Spring Allergy Capitals 2014 list.