How close a person lives to a major road could have an impact on their eczema risk.

New research suggests that folks who live farther from one are less likely to develop the skin condition.

A 13-year medical chart review focused on patients in Denver, from infants to age 18.

Those with eczema were compared to an equal-sized control group of patients without the condition. In all, the study included more than 14,000 children.

The researchers calculated the distance from their homes to a road with annual traffic of more than 10,000 vehicles a day.

The risk of eczema (atopic dermatitis) dropped 21% for every 10-fold increase in distance from a major road, the study found.

“In the end, we found children who lived 1,000 meters [0.6 miles] or more from a major road had 27% lower odds of atopic dermatitis compared to children who lived within 500 meters of a major road,” said lead author Dr. Michael Nevid, a fellow at National Jewish Health in Denver, who pursued this research after learning about a similar study in Asia.

“This is an early association study, so more work needs to be done to examine the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the association,” Nevid said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The findings were published in a February online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. They are also scheduled to be presented during a meeting in San Antonio of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Feb. 24 to 27.

More information

The National Eczema Association has more on eczema and the environment.

SOURCE: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, Feb. 3, 2023