Distance to equator ups asthma risk

11 February 2013 10:32

A new study suggests that being closer to the equator can bring on allergies and asthma

A new study suggests that being closer to the equator can bring on allergies and asthma

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has claimed that living near the equator increases the risk of developing allergies and asthma. Past studies have linked latitude to airborne allergens because of climate, housing and cultural differences but the lead author of the latest research, Vicka Oktaria, MPH, says that "UV-B rays exposure is higher" and that rise could be "linked to vitamin D".

ACAAI president and allergist Richard Weber, MD, says that allergies and asthma "can be life-threatening" and that only emphasises the importance of asthma travel insurance and medical travel insurance, particularly for those travelling near the equator.

The new study, which has been the February issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, is among the first to use latitude location and UV-B exposure to look at the link between allergy and asthma and the ACAAI says around 75 to 85 per cent of asthmatics have an allergy.

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