Sunshine gives cover to kids against asthma

Children in colder, wetter cities are at greater risk of suffering from this respiratory problem since there are fewer hours of sunlight in such places, says a Spanish study.

"Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause cancer, but it's also dangerous to avoid it," says study co-author Alberto Arnedo-Pena, epidemiologist at the Public Health Centre in Castellón, Spain.

The research is part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), led by Luis García Marcos of the University of Murcia in Spain, the International Journal of Biometeorology reports.

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, according to a Public Health Centre statement.

The study results show that there is a higher prevalence of this illness among children in wetter places with less sun.

The research, carried out on more than 45,000 children and teenagers from nine Spanish cities and shows that climatic conditions, above all solar radiation, can in many cases explain the high geographical variation in the prevalence of asthma in Spain.

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