Birth month may play role in allergy risk

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People born in the fall and winter seem to have an increased risk of certain allergic diseases such as asthma, studies have shown, and now scientists may have found one reason why.

In a new study of people in England, researchers found that certain markers on the DNA are linked to the seasons in which people are born, and these markers also seem to mediate people’s risk of allergic diseases.

The results suggest that some environmental factor that varies from one season to another may also drive the changes in these markers, the researchers said.

“The clinical implications are that if we understood what the environmental factor was that was varying by season, then it potentially could be modifiable to reduce allergy risk in children,” said study co-author John Holloway, a professor of allergy and respiratory genetics at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

The researchers said they don’t yet know what this factor is. But if, for example, the factor had something to do with sunlight exposure altering pregnant women’s vitamin D levels, then perhaps providing nutritional supplements to these women could help lower the risk of allergies in their children, Holloway told Live Science.

Read full, original post: Season of Birth Genetically Linked to Allergy Risk

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