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Association between latitude and allergic diseases: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle-age


Oktaria, V and Dharmage, SC and Burgess, JA and Simpson, JA and Morrison, S and Giles, GG and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Matheson, MC, Association between latitude and allergic diseases: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle-age, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 110, (2) pp. 80-85. ISSN 1081-1206 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.anai.2012.11.005


Background: Worldwide variations in allergy prevalence suggest that geographic factors may contribute to asthma. Ecologic studies have suggested that latitude, a marker of UV-B exposure and allergen exposures, may be related to clinical allergies.

Objective: To examine the relationship between latitude or UV-B based on self-reported geolocation and allergic sensitization and disease prevalence in Australia.

Methods: The Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study is a population-based study of respiratory disease spanning childhood to adulthood. The most recent follow-up included a postal survey of 5,729 participants and a clinical substudy of 1,396 participants. Participants' residential addresses were coded for latitude and linked with the UV-B data from satellite-based observations of atmospheric ozone. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the associations between latitude or UV-B and allergic diseases.

Results: Most northerly latitude, that is, latitude closest to the Equator, and high current UV-B exposure were associated with increased odds of hay fever, food allergy, and skin sensitization to house dust mites and molds. More northerly latitude and higher UV-B exposure were associated with increased odds of current asthma among atopic individuals contrasting with a reduced odds of current asthma among nonatopic individuals.

Conclusion: This is the first study, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a differential effect of atopic status on the relationship between latitude and current asthma. Our study demonstrates in a genetically and culturally similar group of individuals that geographic factors may a play role in the development of allergic disease.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:84774
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2013-05-30
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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