The statistics speak for themselves: 1 in every 2 Europeans will suffer from an allergy by 2015, but what’s worse is that their chronic condition is very likely to be underdiagnosed and undertreated. This is the message of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association (EFA) to the European Parliament yesterday during the launch of its new book on respiratory allergies. Allergies and asthma are the most common chronic diseases in Europe: 113 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis and 68 million from allergic asthma, and both chronic conditions are on a steady rise.
The crux of EFA’s book is the wealth of information collected through a comprehensive survey sent to EFA member associations on the state of allergies across the EU. The President of EFA, Mrs Breda Flood introduced the book as “the first part of a 4 year allergy awareness project to create better public awareness of respiratory allergies and their unmet needs, and bring policy makers, the medical community and the public to treat these conditions as a major public health challenge.” The results reveal the loopholes and inequalities in prevention, diagnosis and management of respiratory allergies.
Source: EFA Press Release “A breath of fresh air: New data on the most common and underestimated chronic disease in the EU - respiratory allergies”, 25 Nov 2011, www.efanet.org