Health: Big rise forecast in number of allergy sufferers

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More than one in four adults will suffer from allergies in the next millennium, according to a leading lung doctor.

According to new research, the number of cases of allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever and eczema have increased dramatically over the last three decades and will continue to do so in the future. It is estimated by the year 2019 more than 25 per cent of British adults will suffer from a wheeze.

Dr Warren Lenney of the British Thoracic Society will tell the society's summer meeting at Loughborough University today: "It is vital that we examine what makes a person allergic and what symptoms or lifestyles can trigger allergy. The roles of environmental factors and modern living, such as indoor air pollution and diet, could be playing a key role in triggering allergy in adults." The research was based on a study of 2,510 primary school children in Aberdeen. The children were examined in 1964, and followed up 25 years later. Findings showed that the total number of allergic conditions had increased by more than a third - by an average of 7 per cent for each condition.