Current data



Ragweed allergy has long been recognized as a major public health problem, with various incidence and prevalence rates in different geographic areas. Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma are the most common manifestations of allergic sensitization, although skin symptoms may occur. Ten to 26% of the USA population is estimated to be affected (Arbes et al, JACI 2005), which generates diagnosis, treatment and medication costs of approximately $21 billion per year (Ziska et al, PNAS 2011). In Europe, the sensitization frequency varies tremendously between countries (Burbach et al, Allergy 2009), from 2.4% in the Western parts of Europe and up to 50% in the Eastern parts of Europe, with an overall rise in prevalence (Tosi A et al, Swiss Med Wkly 2011). The estimated costs for diagnosis and treatment of ragweed allergy in the EU range up to € 714 million per year. According to WAO, ragweed impact on health of people living in Asia is less significant than in Europe and North America. In Japan, the most frequent cause of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (for 10% of the population) is the Japanese cedar pollen, followed at a distance by cypress, grasses, ragweed, and mugwort.



For Romania, only regional official statistics regarding ragweed pollen spread and number of patients allergic to ragweed are available. The highest atmospheric ragweed pollen concentration is encountered in August and September, but the pollen is present in the air for a much longer period, starting with mid-July and up to late October, depending on weather conditions (Fig. 1). A population of 6 million is estimated to be exposed to ragweed pollen (Bullock, James. Assessing and controlling the spread and the effects of common ragweed in Europe. 2012), mostly in Western Romania, while the other regions are less affected (Leru et al, Ambrosia facts – Romania, SMARTER Report, COST Action FA1203, 2013). Out of these, approximately 450,000 people are allergic to ragweed pollen, most of them suffering of rhinoconjunctivitis, which in time may progress to asthma.

Timiș county

There is an increasing trend in respiratory allergies in Timis County (Fig. 2). Among the allergic patients identified between 2008 and 2016 (n = 8717 patients), 44.64% were diagnosed with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis or asthma induced by aeroallergens, with the following allergy profile:

  • Polysensitization – most patients (61.90%), out of which approximately 60% were also sensitized to ragweed pollen.
  • Monosensitization – in 38.10% of cases, out of which 40% were sensitized to ragweed, this being the largest category of monosensitized patients (Fig. 3, 4).
  • Annual prevalence of ragweed sensitization remained high throughout the study period (Fig. 5).
Fig. 3. Polysensitized and monosensitized patients in 2008 – 2016
Fig. 4 Pacients sensitized to ragweed from the total of allergic pacients in 2008 – 2016
Fig. 5. Distribution of monosensitized patients in 2008 – 2016
Fig. 2. Respiratory allergy trends in Western Romania in 2008 – 2016