A study, which has recently appeared in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, has claimed that geographic factors might have a major role to play when it comes to the development of diseases such as asthma and food allergy.
The Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study was carried out by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Recruiting some 5,729 participants, the review found that atopic people living nearby the equator were at higher risks of having asthma.
While risk of hay fever was 28% higher, the risk for suffering from food allergy was high by 38% and the perils of dust allergy were high by 41% as compared to non-atopic individuals. High exposure to UV-B was also linked to increased risk of the conditions.
Those who were non-atopic but lived closer to the equator were at lesser risk of the conditions. The risks of development of skin sensitization to HDM (house dust mites) were also reduced in these people. The study was population-based and focused at examining respiratory diseases that extend from childhood to adulthood.
"We found that latitude and UV-B exposure were associated with current asthma and that atopy modified those associations but asthma severity did not", said author Shyamali Dharmage.