This research has been published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Allergy is the condition in which the immune system of the body gives sensitized response to the first exposure of the substance, such as pollen grains, dust mites and molds, and the reaction takes place only on subsequent exposures. According to American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), many people, who have an allergy, also experience asthma symptoms.
Researchers have found that the increased chances of allergy and asthma may not only be due to the increased pollen counts.
Researchers wrote, “Most northerly latitude, that is, latitude closest to the Equator, and high current UV-B exposure were associated with increased odds of hay fever, food allergy, and skin sensitization to house dust mites and molds.”
“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.” Vicka Oktaria, MPH, lead study author, said in a statement.
This is the first study to show the relation of latitude location and UV-B exposure.
“Allergies and asthma are serious diseases that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated properly,” said allergist Richard Weber, MD, ACAAI president. “Both conditions can be more than bothersome for people, no matter their geographic location, and can last year-round.”
Oktaria, V., Dharmage, S., Burgess, J., Simpson, J., Morrison, S., Giles, G., Abramson, M., Walters, E., & Matheson, M. (2013). Association between latitude and allergic diseases: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle-age Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 110 (2), 80-850 DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2012.11.005