Location May Affect Asthma and Allergies
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Allergies and asthma can make the spring and summer months unbearable, and for some people with severe cases, it can be a lifelong battle. While many people may blame their genes, the seasons, or plain luck for having allergies or asthma, it turns out that where you live could be the real culprit.
Researchers discovered that living in areas close to the equator may put individuals at a higher risk for developing allergies or asthma because of increased exposure to UV-B rays.
"This increase in UV-B may be linked to vitamin D, which is thought to modify the immune system. These modifications can lead to an elevated risk of developing allergy and asthma,” lead study author Vicka Oktaria, M.P.H., was quoted as saying.
Both allergies and asthma were included in the study because the two problems are closely related with around 75 to 85% of asthmatics having some sort of allergy.
This study is not the first time that where a person lives has been thought to affect allergies. Prior studies found latitude can reflect a variation in airborne allergens due to climate, housing and social and cultural differences.
Source: Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, February 2013