Youngsters who grow up in urban environments are twice as likely to have a peanut or shellfish all...
City children have more allergies
Children living in cities are much more likely to suffer from food allergies than those living in the country.
Youngsters who grow up in urban environments are twice as likely to have a peanut or shellfish allergy as those residing in the countryside, according to a new study conducted at Northwestern University's School of Medicine.
The study included nearly 38,500 children aged up to 18 years old and their food allergies were mapped by area code.
It is thought that children from rural areas have more of a tolerance because of their limited exposure to pollutants and bacteria when growing up.
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Peanuts are the most popular reason for allergies, with 1.3% of country kids reported to be suffering; this figure is nearly doubled for those living in urban centres (2.8%). The same trend was noted for shellfish, just 0.8% of country dwellers were allergic in comparison to 2.4% from the city.
Nearly 40% of allergy sufferers who took part in the research have already experienced a severe, life-threatening reaction to food.
The study noted: "Allergy rates increased steadily with increasing population density, from 6.2% in rural areas to 9.8% in urban centres. There was significant variation observed, with only milk and soy affecting a similar proportion of children in all areas."
A rise in allergies
This is not the first study attempting to pair allergies and location - previous research showed a higher number of people in urban areas suffer from asthma, eczema and conjunctivitis.
NHS data also show a sharp rise in allergy cases among the young, it is now thought that one in every 14 children under the age of three has one or more food allergies. An estimated 80% of children who have a reaction to peanuts remain allergic to them for the rest of their lives.
- Generic drugs are cheaper and often have the same ingredients as more expensive branded products
- If you need prescriptions, consider applying for a prescription repayment certificate
- To find out if you are allergic to something try taking an allergy test at your local doctors clinic
If you have a valid Medical Exemption Certificate you are entitled to free prescriptions in England