More child food allergies in urban areas

June 7, 2012 at 11:56 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, June 7 (UPI) -- Children living in rural areas of the United States have fewer food allergies than children who live in urban areas, researchers found.

Lead author Dr. Ruchi Gupta -- an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and a physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago -- and colleagues said the study involved 38,465 children age 18 and under, a representative sample of U.S. households.

The subjects' food allergies were mapped by ZIP code.

The study, scheduled to be published in the July issue of Clinical Pediatrics, found in urban centers, 9.8 percent of children have food allergies, compared to 6.2 percent in rural communities.

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, the study found.

"We have found for the first time that higher population density corresponds with a greater likelihood of food allergies in children," Gupta said in a statement. "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."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New research explains insomnia prevalence among elderly
Police search for California man with drug-resistant TB
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
New research details rare cancer that killed Bob Marley
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
Trending News