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October 26, 1998

A look at allergies in the United States:

Overall prevalence: 40 million to 50 million people (estimate based on skin test survey)

Chronic sinusitis prevalence: 35 million people

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) prevalence: nearly 9.3% of population (excludes those with asthma)

Impact: Estimated loss of nearly $4 billion in workplace productivity (1993)

Urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling of tissues) prevalence: About 15% of population

Allergic dermatitis (eczema) prevalence: about 10% of children

Allergic drug-reactions prevalence: 2% to 3% of hospitalized patients

Latex allergy prevalence: 1,000, 1988 to 1992

Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

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