Live near the equator? Too bad...

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photo: AFP
photo: AFP

People residing near the equator may find themselves sneezing and wheezing more than usual due to exposure to higher ultra violet radiations, says a US study.

“UV-B rays (type of ultraviolet radiation) exposure is higher for people living in areas closer to the equator,” said Vicka Oktaria, who led the study.

“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,” the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports.

Previous studies have shown that latitude can reflect a variation in airborne allergens due to climate, housing and social and cultural differences. This study is one of the first using the individuals latitude location and UV-B exposure to examine the association with allergy and asthma, according to an ACAAI statement.

“Allergies and asthma are serious diseases that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated properly,” said allergist Richard Weber.

“Both conditions can be more than bothersome for people, no matter their geographic location, and can last year-round,” Weber said.IANS



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