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Occup Environ Med. 2005 Sep;62(9):607-11.

Effect of farming environment on sensitisation to allergens continues after childhood.

Author information

  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland. heikki.koskela@kuh.fi

Abstract

AIMS:

The farming environment in childhood has been reported to decrease the risk of sensitisation to allergens. The purpose of the present study was to explore whether later exposure to a farming environment also could affect this sensitisation.

METHODS:

A population based sample of 202 women who did not live on a farm and 231 who did. The subjects filled in a questionnaire and underwent skin prick tests for several common and farming related allergens.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of sensitisation to any of the allergens was similar in the two groups (37.1 v 34.6% (p = NS). However, compared with women who did not live on a farm, the women who lived on a dairy farm showed a low prevalence of sensitisation to pollens (4.4 v 17.3%, p = 0.01) and cats (3.5 v 10.4%, p = 0.047). The risk of sensitisation to pollens and pets was lowest among women with both a childhood and adulthood farming environment and was dose dependently associated with current contact with farm animals. However, this contact increased the risk of sensitisation to bovine dander.

CONCLUSION:

The farming environment may reduce sensitisation to common allergens also after early childhood. However, it may also increase sensitisation to farm allergens.

PMID:
16109816
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1741086
Free PMC Article
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