HEALTH

Study: Allergies more prevalent across Southeast U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE — A study being presented this week at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found hay fever is more prevalent in children living in the southeastern and southern states, ACAAI announced Friday.

“The study found more than 18% of children and adolescents have hay fever in the United States, with the highest frequency in the southeastern and southern regions of the country,” stated allergist Michael Foggs, ACAAI president-elect. “While the reason is unknown, it is most likely due to climate factors.”

Environmental influences, such as temperature, precipitation and UV index in the southern regions seem to be responsible for the increase in allergy sufferers. 

“According to the study, wetter regions with average humidity were associated with a decreased number of children with hay fever,” Foggs said. “The study also found areas of the south with warm temperatures and elevated UV indexes seem to harbor more hay fever sufferers.”

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, most commonly occurs in the spring and fall months, but can last year round for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies.

ACAAI warns allergens are difficult to avoid, and parents shouldn’t consider moving to help their children find allergy relief.

“An allergy sufferer may escape one allergy to ragweed for example, only to develop sensitivity to other allergens, such as grasses, in a new location,” said allergist Stanley Fineman, ACAAI past president. “Allergens, such as pollen, can be found in virtually all regions, including Hawaii, Alaska and Maine, making avoidance nearly impossible. This study shows that climate truly influences allergens which can ultimately trigger symptoms in those affected.”

 

 

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
HEALTH

ADA pushes nutrition therapy

BY Michael Johnsen

Supermarket pharmacy operators last month received validation for the growing number of diabetes educators and dietary nutritionists walking their aisles. In the Oct. 9 issue of Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Association recommended all people with diabetes make nutrition therapy a part of their treatment plan.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

This position statement replaces the nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes published in 2008. The 2013 statement provides a set of recommendations based on review of recent scientific evidence. It calls for all adults diagnosed with diabetes to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods in appropriate portion sizes as part of an eating plan that takes into account individual preferences, culture, religious beliefs, traditions and metabolic goals. Since people eat food and not single nutrients — such as carbohydrates, protein and fat — the report includes a new section on eating patterns.

That’s much more complicated than a one-size-fits-all plan, which makes a trusted nutrition resource at the local supermarket all the more valuable.

“Just because you have been diagnosed with diabetes does not mean you can no longer enjoy the foods you love or your cultural traditions,” stated Alison Evert, coordinator of diabetes education programs for the University of Washington Medical Center, Diabetes Care Center. “Ideally, the person with diabetes should be referred to a registered dietitian or participate in a diabetes self-management education program soon after diagnosis.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
HEALTH

Creating a diabetes ecosystem

BY Michael Johnsen

Creating a home destination center for diabetic patients stocked with products appropriate to their condition —not only including sugar tablets, gels and liquids, but also nutritional supplements, homeopathic products, skin creams and lotions, oral care solutions, pain relief products and hypoglycemic products — has gained in importance thanks to the price pressures associated with competitive bidding in the diabetes space.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

These front-end products represent margin retention for those pharmacists still serving their diabetes patients on Medicare. “As expected, U.S. sales were impacted by the implementation of the CMS competitive bidding program for Medicare patients,” Brian Yoor, Abbott VP investor relations, told analysts last month during a conference call. “We project fourth-quarter diabetes care sales growth to be down low single-digits on an operational basis, reflecting the impact of CMS competitive bidding in the [United States] partially offset by strong growth internationally.”

Meanwhile, meal replacement bars and ready-to-drink shakes — both popular categories among people with diabetes — are experiencing significant growth. Sales of meal replacement bars were up 13.4% to $1.9 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 8, according to IRI. Similarly, sales of RTD shakes were up 7.8% to $2.6 billion.

Earlier this year, Nipro Diagnostics broadened its diabetes portfolio of store-brand offerings with its acquisition of P.J. Noyes to help bridge the meter and insulin purchase across the backbench to the front-end. “What we’re creating is a diabetes ecosystem,” Scott Verner, Nipro president and CEO, told DSN. It empowers “our retail partners to have what they need, and support[ing] their patients is everything in a solution,” he said. “That’s why we call it an ecosystem, because you have blood-glucose meters and you have all the other products needed to surround that patient.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?