Early results from a UBC study show Vancouver tops four Canadian regions when it comes to child allergies and sensitivities.
The study found Vancouver had the largest proportion of children to develop allergies (23.5 per cent), compared to Toronto and Edmonton (both at 17 per cent), and Manitoba (9 per cent).
Researchers followed thousands of children from birth to kindergarten and found those who came into contact with more germs from other kids or furry pets were less likely to have a sensitivity to either food or airborne allergens.
“Understanding which environmental exposures in early life affect the development of allergies can help tailor preventative measures for children,” said Hind Sbihi, the study’s lead author.
“We also found that children who attended daycare or with older siblings in the household were less likely to develop allergic sensitization, suggesting that exposure to other children can be protective.”
Why do Vancouver children have more sensitivities? Researchers don’t know, but they’ll continue to follow the children for two more years.