Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The topic being investigated in the article “Latitude, Birth Date, and Allergy,” is whether the area a person is born in, or the date a person is born in, is related to a person’s risk for allergic diseases. This study can help increase our understanding of how allergies and similar diseases work and their causes, as well as ways they can be prevented. From information gained by this study, we can take measures to protect ourselves from these diseases that affect many people.
The amount of allergy diseases in most countries has been increasing at a fast rate, and the causes of these problems are unknown. Allergies can lead to loss of life and a worsened lifestyle to many. By conducting this experiment, we can learn how these specific allergic diseases work, and orders to prevent/protect ourselves from them. There have been several studies conducted in the past claiming that the month one is born is associated with allergies. During the time around autumn and winter, there are higher risks of respiratory infection. As a result, people born around this team have an over-reactive immune system, resulting in allergy. This is why it is commonly stated that one’s date of birth affects their allergy risk. The geographical latitude prior to this study is not known whether it is related with allergies, however it is known that latitude is commonly associated with Crohn’s disease and Type I diabetes. However, conclusions relating latitude to allergies will be difficult to reach due to other factors, related to latitude, such as genetic influences and cultural differences for children. From this information, research is conducted to determine whether adult allergies are affected by date of birth or geographical latitude of birth. The goal of the study is to determine the effects of birth date and latitude on prevalence of allergic diseases.
The sample was chosen from a population of at least 150,000 people, who are between 20 and 44 years old, defined by the European Community Respiratory Health Study, which has centers in approximately 54 different places in the sample. 1,500 men and women each were randomly selected as part of the sample. These chosen people were sent a questionnaire asking about respiratory symptoms and asthma attacks in the past 12 months. Information on the birth dates of these people was gathered, as well as information regarding their latitude. The different responses of birth dates were put numerically, with the different months as different numbers. In the study, only month, year, and the season/quarter of the year is reported.
The test conducted on this data was a global chi-squared-test for heterogeneity. The different categories were the different types of allergies, as well as the different latitudes. Also, linear equations representing the binomial outcome for allergies were developed. From the analysis, it is shown that there is no significant effect of birth date on adult allergy based on year, month, or week. However, in an adjusted analysis, September and October experienced borderline significant reduced risks compared to other months. From the test for heterogeneity, only May showed significant differences with p = 0.021. There were no major spikes in allergies related to 3-month intervals (seasons). The article concludes that birth date does not affect adult allergy, however latitude is associated with allergies and affects adult allergy.
The topic researched in this article was very fascinating. This is because allergies are a problem that has been increasing and effects many people, including myself. Discovering the cause of these allergies and possible treatment would be extremely helpful for people, which is why I like the topic of the article. However, there are many flaws in the study conducted. The article had briefly noted these flaws, but did not go into enough detail on the flaws. I believe that these flaws were very big, and I would have come up with a different conclusion. The organization’s sampling was not done well. They only chose people from 54 different “centers.” These people are not sampled completely randomly as a result. Although it may be difficult, the best way to sample is to choose people randomly from all around the world. Also, in the study, 200,682 were part of the sample, however only 186,723 were included in the data set. The article claims that some did not have reliable birth dates which is why they are not included. However, these people are probably from poorer countries, which is related to their latitude, and may mean a higher allergy rate. However, these people are not included in the data set, which means there is bias in this study. For the statistics, I believe that individuals should have been chosen from a block design from each of the 54 centers, so that every area is equally represented. Also, there is a problem with confounding variables, which is why I disagree with the conclusion of the article. In the end, that article concludes that latitude effects adult allergy. However, latitude is related with the different countries. Those with certain latitudes have poorer conditions than others, due to differences in genetic influences, and cultural differences. The article claims that latitude effects adult allergy, because of UV solar exposure and different pollen seasons. However, the cultural and genetic differences confound with the latitude and allergies, which is why valid conclusions cannot be made. Some questions raised from the article are whether UV solar exposure effects adult allergy, instead of broadly testing whether latitude effects adult allergy. Also, it would be important to notice the growth of allergies in the world, and see if there is an association with another variable such as source of water or sources of medical supplies. This way, we can also generalize a reason to the rising allergies in the world.