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The combined effects of family size and farm exposure on childhood hay fever and atopy

Genuneit, Jon and Strachan, David P. and Büchele, Gisela and Weber, Juliane and Loss, Georg and Sozanska, Barbara and Boznanski, Andrzej and Horak, Elisabeth and Heederik, Dick and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte and von Mutius, Erika and Gabriela study group, . (2013) The combined effects of family size and farm exposure on childhood hay fever and atopy. Pediatric allergy and immunology, Vol. 24, H. 3. pp. 293-298.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6124549

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Abstract

Exposure to farming environments and siblings is associated with reduced risks of childhood hay fever and atopy. We explored the independence and interaction of these protective effects in the GABRIELA study.; Questionnaire surveys on farming, asthma, and allergies were conducted in four central European areas among 79,888 6-12-yr-old children. Aeroallergen-specific serum IgE was measured in a stratified sample of 8,023 children. Multiple logistic regression was used to compare gradients in allergy prevalence by sibship size across three categories of exposure to farming environments.; The prevalence of hay fever ranged from 2% (95% confidence interval 1.6%; 2.7%) among farmers' children with more than two siblings to 12% (11.2%; 13.0%) among children with no farm exposure and no siblings. Farming families were larger on average. More siblings and exposure to farming environments independently conferred protection from hay fever and atopy. There was no substantial effect modification between family size and exposure to farming environments. The odds ratios for hay fever per additional sibling were 0.79 among unexposed non-farm children, 0.77 among farm-exposed non-farm children, and 0.72 among children from farming families (2df interaction test: p = 0.41).; The inverse association of exposure to farming environments with hay fever is found in all sizes of family, with no substantial tendency to saturation or synergism. This suggests that different biological mechanisms may underlie these two protective factors. Combinations of a large family and exposure to farming environments markedly reduce the prevalence of hay fever and indicate the strength of its environmental determinants.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Former Units within Swiss TPH > Microbial Exposure & Childhood Allergies (Braun-Fahrländer)
UniBasel Contributors:Loss, Georg and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:0905-6157
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Aug 2013 07:34
Deposited On:16 Aug 2013 07:31

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