A new study has revealed that people living closer to the equator are more likely to have asthma and allergies compared to those living further from the latitudinal line, HealthDay News reported.

According to the study authors, the association may be related to more exposure from ultraviolet-B rays in sunlight.

“This increase in UV-B may be linked to vitamin D, which is thought to modify the immune system,” study lead author Vicka Oktaria from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).  “These modifications can lead to an elevated risk of developing allergy and asthma.”

This study, published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, is the first to examine the link between geography and allergy/asthma risk.  Previous studies have found that environmental factors related to living in different latitudes can alter a person’s exposure to airborne allergens.

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