First-Year Allergen Exposure Reduces Asthma, Allergy Risk
the MPR take:
Exposure to specific allergens and bacteria during the first year of life could reduce the risk of recurrent wheeze and allergic sensitization. Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 560 children at high risk for asthma were examined yearly for 3 years, along with testing of their homes for bacteria and cat, dog, cockroach, mouse and dust mite allergens. Forty-four percent of the children were sensitized to at least one allergen by age 3 and 36% experienced recurrent wheezing. The greater the exposure to cat, cockroach, and mouse allergens, the greater the risk for wheezing was seen. Those children who had no allergies and wheezing were more likely to have the highest first-year exposure to allergens and bacteria.
Childhood exposure to allergens and germs is generally believed to protect against the development of asthma and allergy, but a new study suggests that this effect happens only with exposure in the first year of life. By age 3, 44 percent of the children were sensitized to at least one allergen, and 36 percent had recurrent wheezing.
READ FULL ARTICLE From The New York Times