Published on June 10th, 2012 | by James Johnson2
Urban Kids Develop More Allergies, Study Finds
Allergies love to attack children who live in urban centers, at least that is the findings of a new study which compared children with allergies in city areas to those of rural areas. According to the study kids in urban areas are twice as likely to have shellfish and peanut allergies.
Being published in the July issue of Clinical Pediatrics the studies lead author Ruchi Gupta, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine writes:
“This [study] shows that environment has an impact on developing food allergies. Similar trends have been seen for related conditions like asthma. The big question is — what in the environment is triggering them? A better understanding of environmental factors will help us with prevention efforts.”
The study focused on 38,465 children ages 18 years and under and their food allergies were mapped based on each persons zipcode.
Researchers found that 9.8 percent of children have food allergies when living in cities while only 6.2 percent have allergies in rural communities. The study also found that peanut allergies are twice as likely in urban areas than rural communities while shellfish allergies are more than doubled in urban centers.
The study also found that the overall highest prevalence of food allergies occur in Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia
Among the areas studied were urban centers, metropolitan cities, urban outskirts, suburban areas, small towns and rural areas.
With nearly 6 million children under the age of 18 suffering from life threatening food allergies (one in 13), the study couldn’t come at a better time.
Next up for the research team will be an attempt to pin down exactly why urban based children are more susceptible to allergies than rural children. Studies in the past have found similar increases in asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis in urban centers.