Washington: A new study led by Valencian researchers has shown that children who live in colder, wetter cities are at greater risk of suffering from asthma, since there are fewer hours of sunlight in such places.
"Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause cancer, but it`s also dangerous to avoid it. There has to be a balance between the pros and cons", Alberto Arnedo-Pena, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Centre in Castellón and lead author of the research, which is part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), led by Luis García Marcos of the University of Murcia.
In fact, 90 percent of our vitamin D is synthesised through exposure to the sun. This vitamin, which can be found in various cell receptors, is usually found at lower levels in people with asthma. The study results show that there is a higher prevalence of this illness among children in wetter places with less sun (northern Spain).
"Although we need more studies on this issue – this hypothesis is not even five years old - it is clear that an average level of sun exposure is important for the assimilation of vitamin D, a compound that is extremely important in preventing illnesses such as asthma, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases", added Arnedo-Pena.
The study has been published in the International Journal of Biometeorology.