Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Protection from childhood asthma and allergy in Alpine farm environments - the GABRIEL Advanced Studies


Illi, Sabina; Depner, Martin; Genuneit, Jon; Horak, Elisabeth; Loss, Georg; Strunz-Lehner, Christine; Büchele, Gisela; Boznanski, Andrzej; Danielewicz, Hanna; Cullinan, Paul; Heederik, Dick; Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte; von Mutius, Erika (2012). Protection from childhood asthma and allergy in Alpine farm environments - the GABRIEL Advanced Studies. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 129(6):1470-7.e6.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies on the association of farm environments with asthma and atopy have repeatedly observed a protective effect of farming. However, no single specific farm-related exposure explaining this protective farm effect has consistently been identified.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine distinct farm exposures that account for the protective effect of farming on asthma and atopy.
METHODS: In rural regions of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, 79,888 school-aged children answered a recruiting questionnaire (phase I). In phase II a stratified random subsample of 8,419 children answered a detailed questionnaire on farming environment. Blood samples and specific IgE levels were available for 7,682 of these children. A broad asthma definition was used, comprising symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment ever.
RESULTS: Children living on a farm were at significantly reduced risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59-0.78; P< .001), hay fever (aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.36-0.52; P< .001), atopic dermatitis (aOR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69-0.93; P= .004), and atopic sensitization (aOR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.48-0.61; P< .001) compared with nonfarm children. Whereas this overall farm effect could be explained by specific exposures to cows, straw, and farm milk for asthma and exposure to fodder storage rooms and manure for atopic dermatitis, the farm effect on hay fever and atopic sensitization could not be completely explained by the questionnaire items themselves or their diversity.
CONCLUSION: A specific type of farm typical for traditional farming (ie, with cows and cultivation) was protective against asthma, hay fever, and atopy. However, whereas the farm effect on asthma could be explained by specific farm characteristics, there is a link still missing for hay fever and atopy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies on the association of farm environments with asthma and atopy have repeatedly observed a protective effect of farming. However, no single specific farm-related exposure explaining this protective farm effect has consistently been identified.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine distinct farm exposures that account for the protective effect of farming on asthma and atopy.
METHODS: In rural regions of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, 79,888 school-aged children answered a recruiting questionnaire (phase I). In phase II a stratified random subsample of 8,419 children answered a detailed questionnaire on farming environment. Blood samples and specific IgE levels were available for 7,682 of these children. A broad asthma definition was used, comprising symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment ever.
RESULTS: Children living on a farm were at significantly reduced risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59-0.78; P< .001), hay fever (aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.36-0.52; P< .001), atopic dermatitis (aOR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69-0.93; P= .004), and atopic sensitization (aOR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.48-0.61; P< .001) compared with nonfarm children. Whereas this overall farm effect could be explained by specific exposures to cows, straw, and farm milk for asthma and exposure to fodder storage rooms and manure for atopic dermatitis, the farm effect on hay fever and atopic sensitization could not be completely explained by the questionnaire items themselves or their diversity.
CONCLUSION: A specific type of farm typical for traditional farming (ie, with cows and cultivation) was protective against asthma, hay fever, and atopy. However, whereas the farm effect on asthma could be explained by specific farm characteristics, there is a link still missing for hay fever and atopy.

Statistics

Citations

74 citations in Web of Science®
77 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 20 Feb 2013
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2012
Deposited On:20 Feb 2013 12:02
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 19:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-6749
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2012.03.013
PubMed ID:22534534

Download