AAAAI: Prevalence of asthma, hay fever lower among Amish

March 6, 2012
AAAAI: prevalence of asthma, hay fever lower among amish

(HealthDay) -- The prevalence of asthma, hay fever, and allergic sensitization is significantly lower among the Amish population than among Swiss children, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from March 2 to 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Mark Holbreich, M.D., from Allergy and Consultants in Indianapolis, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of asthma, hay fever, and allergic among children in Swiss and Amish populations. A total of 28,686 questionnaires were distributed to families in Switzerland with children aged 6 to 12 years. Consenting children were evaluated for serum specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) to allergens. Among the Amish, a questionnaire was completed and children were invited to a skin prick test.

The researchers note that 65 percent of the questionnaires were returned in Switzerland and 85 percent were returned among the Amish. IgE measurements and skin prick testing were carried out in 89 and 75 percent, respectively. For the Amish, Swiss farm, and Swiss non-farm children, the researchers found that the prevalence of asthma was 5.2, 6.8, and 11.3 percent, respectively, and the prevalence of atopy was 7.2, 25.2, and 44.2 percent, respectively.

"The prevalence of asthma, and allergic sensitization in the Amish population is substantially lower that among Swiss farm and lower than in most population studies. Traditional farm exposures and large family size may account for this impressive protective effect," the authors write.

More information: Abstract No. 494
More Information

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.