Study says food allergy risk higher for inner-city kids born in winter

A new study has found that children born in the inner-city with asthma during the winter time are far more likely to have food allergies than are children born in other conditions.

The study, published in the Journal of Allerygy and Clinical Immunology, was part of an asthma study of 427 children from the northern latitudes.

The researchers adjusted for vitamin D after finding that "vitamin D status showed no significant relationship with food allergen sensitization, environmental allergen sensitization or exposure or likelihood of clinically relevant food allergy on the basis of established predictive values for allergic reactivity to milk, egg, or peanut."

Yet winter birth shows a significant percentage of higher risk for egg white, peanut and soy sensitization (allergy), indicating that the season a child is born in affects their likelihood of having a food allergy.

In addition, those born in the inner-city in the northern latitudes, versus those born in smaller cities, towns or rural environs, also significantly raised risk levels for food allergies.

The researchers noted that the majority of those in the study were black.

"Because of known differences in vitamin D status and race, analyses were performed on the black portion of the population because the overwhelming majority of our population was black," the researchers wrote.

Photo by John Nyboer

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