Researchers from the University of Columbia, United States, discovered that cockroaches they could be the explanation for the drastic variations of childhood asthma in various parts of New York. The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The research found that children living in areas with high rates of asthma are 2 times more likely to carry antibodies against cockroaches in their blood (in the form of proteins), which shows that they were exposed to these insects and that they would be allergic to them.
In addition to the previous hypothesis, it was discovered that in the dust of homes in neighborhoods with high rates of asthma there is a greater amount of allergen produced by cockroaches.
The study represents "more evidence that exposure to cockroaches is part of the problem," said the study's author, Matthew Perzanowski .
"The cockroach allergen could really contribute to disparities in the prevalence of asthma, even in an urban environment such as New York City," he added.
Perzanowski's team visited the homes of 239 children aged 7 and 8, half of whom lived in areas with high asthma rates. Of the neighborhoods studied, 19% of children have asthma, which represents an equivalence of almost one affected person for every 5 minors.
To eliminate the relationship that may exist between the poverty and asthma, the experts only included families with the same government health plan to make sure they had the same income.
Prior to this proposal, the investigations focused on heavy traffic, pollution, industrial incinerators and other sources of air pollution.