City kids more susceptible to food allergies than rural counterparts

   Jun 8, 4:24 pm

Washington, June 8 (ANI): A new study involving an Indian origin scientist has revealed that children living in urban centers have a much higher prevalence of food allergies than those living in rural areas.

In particular, kids in big cities are more than twice as likely to have peanut and shellfish allergies compared to rural communities.

"We have found for the first time that higher population density corresponds with a greater likelihood of food allergies in children," said lead author Ruchi Gupta, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children's Memorial).

"This 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," she noted.

Gupta, also a researcher at the Institute for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School, said some of her future research will focus on trying to identify the environmental causes.

The study included 38,465 children, 18 years and under, who comprised a representative sample of U.S. households. Their food allergies were mapped by ZIP code.

It found that in urban centers, 9.8 percent of children have food allergies, compared to 6.2 percent in rural communities, almost a 3.5 percent difference.

Peanut allergies are twice as prevalent in urban centers as in rural communities, with 2.8 percent of children having the allergy in urban centers compared to 1.3 percent in rural communities.

Shellfish allergies are more than double the prevalence in urban versus rural areas; 2.4 percent of children have shellfish allergies in urban centers compared to 0.8 percent in rural communities.

Food allergies are equally severe regardless of where a child lives, the study found. Nearly 40 percent of food-allergic children in the study had already experienced a severe, life-threatening reaction to food.

The states with the highest overall prevalence of food allergies are Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The study controlled for household income, race, ethnicity, gender and age. It tracked food allergy prevalence in urban centers, metropolitan cities, urban outskirts, suburban areas, small towns and rural areas.

The study will be published in the July issue of Clinical Pediatrics. (ANI)

Want a healthy heart? Tickle your ears Aug 20, 4:18 pm
Washington, Aug 20 (ANI): A new study has found that tickling in ears stimulates the nerves which could perk up the health of your heart.
Full Story
New vaccine offers 'stronger protection' against tuberculosis, leprosy Aug 20, 3:25 pm
Washington, Aug 20 (ANI): Scientists have discovered a new vaccine for tuberculosis and leprosy that could provide considerably stronger defense against both the diseases than the existing ones.
Full Story
'Aerobically fit' kids have more compact brain white-matter Aug 20, 1:45 pm
Washington, Aug 20 (ANI): A new study has revealed that kids who are more aerobically fit have more fibrous and compact white-matter tracts in the brain than their peers who are less fit.
Full Story
Common antibiotic increases chances of heart failure Aug 20, 1:45 pm
Washington, Aug 20 (ANI): A new study has revealed that an antibiotic, which is widely used for treating common bacterial infections, is linked to an increased risk of heart death.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY