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Contact with livestock--a protective effect against allergies and asthma?
Clin Exp Allergy. 2006 Sep; 36(9):1122-9.CE

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A 'protective farm factor' possibly related to livestock exposure is hypothesized to reduce the risk for allergic sensitization.

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to determine whether 4-H club youth, who have opportunities for contact with livestock through club activities, have reduced risks of respiratory and allergic symptoms according to residence on a farm or exposure to livestock.

METHODS

A cross-sectional postal survey was completed by British Columbia 4-H members 8-20 years of age; a subset underwent skin prick testing as well. The association of farm residence and livestock exposure variables with symptoms were evaluated using logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, cat and/or dog ownership, parental history of allergic disease, parental education, number of older siblings and exposure to smokers at home.

RESULTS

Questionnaires were completed by 1158 participants (response rate 50.3%); of these, a subset of 317 had skin prick tests (SPTs) (response rate 64.4%). Current residence on a farm was associated with a lower prevalence of ever having wheeze and asthma, as well as symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Variables relating to residence in a farm or rural area with livestock were more strongly associated with respiratory and allergic symptoms than were the livestock exposure variables such as frequency of contact and hours of barn use. The adjusted odds ratios for living in a farm residence in comparison with a rural non-livestock area were 0.49 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.89) for diagnosed asthma, 0.51 (95% CI 0.30-0.85) for allergic rhinitis and 0.45 (95% CI 0.24-0.84) for atopic dermatitis.

CONCLUSION

Our findings suggest that some aspects of the farm environment, not just attributable to contact with livestock, were protective for respiratory and allergic conditions among 4-H youth.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medicine, Respiratory Division, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. hward@interchange.ubc.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16961711

Citation

Dimich-Ward, H, et al. "Contact With Livestock--a Protective Effect Against Allergies and Asthma?" Clinical and Experimental Allergy : Journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 36, no. 9, 2006, pp. 1122-9.
Dimich-Ward H, Chow Y, Chung J, et al. Contact with livestock--a protective effect against allergies and asthma? Clin Exp Allergy. 2006;36(9):1122-9.
Dimich-Ward, H., Chow, Y., Chung, J., & Trask, C. (2006). Contact with livestock--a protective effect against allergies and asthma? Clinical and Experimental Allergy : Journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 36(9), 1122-9.
Dimich-Ward H, et al. Contact With Livestock--a Protective Effect Against Allergies and Asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006;36(9):1122-9. PubMed PMID: 16961711.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Contact with livestock--a protective effect against allergies and asthma? AU - Dimich-Ward,H, AU - Chow,Y, AU - Chung,J, AU - Trask,C, PY - 2006/9/12/pubmed PY - 2007/4/5/medline PY - 2006/9/12/entrez SP - 1122 EP - 9 JF - Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology JO - Clin Exp Allergy VL - 36 IS - 9 N2 - BACKGROUND: A 'protective farm factor' possibly related to livestock exposure is hypothesized to reduce the risk for allergic sensitization. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether 4-H club youth, who have opportunities for contact with livestock through club activities, have reduced risks of respiratory and allergic symptoms according to residence on a farm or exposure to livestock. METHODS: A cross-sectional postal survey was completed by British Columbia 4-H members 8-20 years of age; a subset underwent skin prick testing as well. The association of farm residence and livestock exposure variables with symptoms were evaluated using logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, cat and/or dog ownership, parental history of allergic disease, parental education, number of older siblings and exposure to smokers at home. RESULTS: Questionnaires were completed by 1158 participants (response rate 50.3%); of these, a subset of 317 had skin prick tests (SPTs) (response rate 64.4%). Current residence on a farm was associated with a lower prevalence of ever having wheeze and asthma, as well as symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Variables relating to residence in a farm or rural area with livestock were more strongly associated with respiratory and allergic symptoms than were the livestock exposure variables such as frequency of contact and hours of barn use. The adjusted odds ratios for living in a farm residence in comparison with a rural non-livestock area were 0.49 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.89) for diagnosed asthma, 0.51 (95% CI 0.30-0.85) for allergic rhinitis and 0.45 (95% CI 0.24-0.84) for atopic dermatitis. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that some aspects of the farm environment, not just attributable to contact with livestock, were protective for respiratory and allergic conditions among 4-H youth. SN - 0954-7894 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16961711/Contact_with_livestock__a_protective_effect_against_allergies_and_asthma L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02556.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -