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One in three Scots affected by allergies

2nd September 2011

A new study has found that a third of the population of Scotland is affected by allergies at some point in their lives.

Asthma1

The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, is the most comprehensive and detailed review of the burden posed by allergic disease in the country.

Allergic disease costs NHS Scotland over £130 million with the cost of GP consultations for asthma alone standing at £786,000, according to the findings.

Lifetime prevalence for all allergic disease is higher in Scotland than England, and in particular for eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Some 4% of GP consultations and 1.5% of hospital admissions are for allergic disorders.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, Professor of Primary Care Research in the Centre for Population Health Sciences and Head of the Allergy & Respiratory Research Group at The University of Edinburgh, is one of the main authors of the study.

He said: “Previous reports that looked at allergy disease in the UK have tended to overlook Scottish data. This report has, for the first time, concentrated solely on the Scottish context and reveals that people in Scotland are more likely to suffer from an allergy at some point in their lives than someone in England.”

Professor Sheikh described clinical provision for allergies in Scotland as being lamentable.

“We currently do not have nearly enough expertise in general practice or specialist centres where patients with severe and complex allergic disease can be assessed and managed. There is also a need for ongoing monitoring of allergy disease trends in,” he added.

 

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