Presented at the 4th Skokloster Workshop Conference: Organic Dusts—Agents, Disease and Prevention, Gothenburg, Sweden, April 7–10, 2003.
Childhood visits to animal buildings and atopic diseases in adulthood: An age-dependent relationship†
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 349–356, October 2004
How to Cite
Radon, K., Ehrenstein, V., Praml, G. and Nowak, D. (2004), Childhood visits to animal buildings and atopic diseases in adulthood: An age-dependent relationship. Am. J. Ind. Med., 46: 349–356. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20000
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2004
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 JAN 2004
- Lower Saxony Ministry of Women, Labor and Social Affairs
- European Union
- livestock farming;
- hygiene hypothesis;
- cross-sectional study;
Several studies reported protective effects of farming environments against atopic diseases. Therefore, we aimed to establish the relevant timing of exposure in early life.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in a rural town. Overall, 4,537 inhabitants aged 18–44 years were eligible. Of these, 3,112 (69%) responded to a postal questionnaire on atopic diseases, life-time exposure to farming environments, and potential confounders.
Those with regular childhood exposure to animal buildings had a significantly reduced risk of nasal allergies. The greatest reduction in risk was seen for respondents starting regular visits to animal stables during the 1st year of life or between ages 3 and 5. Participants reporting start of exposure after age 5 remained at a lower risk for nasal allergies (0.70, 0.49–1.01).
The preventive effect of animal buildings' exposure against atopic respiratory diseases continues into adulthood. The magnitude of the effect appears to be age-dependent. Am. J. Ind. Med. 46:349–356, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.