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Lifestyle factors and sensitization in children – the ALADDIN birth cohort


  • Edited by: Antonella Muraro

Fredrik Stenius, MD, Sachsska Barnsjukhuset, Södersjukhuset AB, S-118 83 Stockholm, Sweden.
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To cite this article: Stenius F, Swartz J, Lilja G, Borres M, Bottai M, Pershagen G, Scheynius A, Alm J. Lifestyle factors and sensitization in children – the ALADDIN birth cohort. Allergy 2011; 66: 1330–1338.


Background:  Several cross-sectional studies indicate that an anthroposophic lifestyle reduces the risk of allergy in children. We initiated the Assessment of Lifestyle and Allergic Disease During Infancy (ALADDIN) birth cohort to elucidate the role of specific factors supposed to mediate this effect. The aims of this study are to describe the ALADDIN cohort and to report patterns of exposure and allergic sensitization during the first years of life.

Methods:  The ALADDIN study is a prospective birth cohort study of 330 children from families with an anthroposophic, partly anthroposophic, or nonanthroposophic lifestyle. The children and their parents were following an extensive data collection scheme, including repeated questionnaires and biological samples. Blood samples were collected from the parents and from the child at birth as well as at 6, 12, and 24 months of age.

Results:  Several lifestyle factors differed between the groups, such as diet, medication, and place of delivery. Children of families with an anthroposophic lifestyle had a markedly decreased risk of sensitization during the first 2 years of life compared with children of nonanthroposophic families with adjusted OR 0.25 (95% CI 0.10–0.64) and P-value 0.004. A similar situation held true for children from families with a partly anthroposophic lifestyle, adjusted OR 0.31 (95% CI 0.15–0.54), and P-value 0.002.

Conclusions:  The anthroposophic lifestyle comprises several factors of interest for allergy development and is here shown to be associated with reduced risk of IgE sensitization already in infancy. Identifying the factors responsible for this association would be of significant clinical importance.