Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 144, No. 4, 2007
Issue release date: November 2007
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2007;144:338–342
(DOI:10.1159/000106460)

Reduced Risk of Atopic Sensitization among Farmers: The Humboldt Study

Chen Y. · Rennie D. · Cormier Y. · McDuffie H. · Pahwa P. · Dosman J.
aDepartment of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont., bInstitute of Agricultural Rural and Environmental Health and cCollege of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask., and dCentre de Pneumologie, Hôpital and Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Que., Canada

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password





Contact Information











I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in

Abstract

Background: It needs to be clarified whether farming is associated with a reduced risk of atopy or allergic condition. There is a lack of consistent evidence for prevalences of atopy, respiratory allergy and asthma in adult farmers. Methods: A cross-sectional study of adults (n = 2,081) was conducted in the town of Humboldt, Sask. Allergy skin prick tests were conducted to determine atopic sensitization. Respiratory allergy and physician-diagnosed asthma were based on self-reporting. Logistic regression was used to assess the associations of atopy, respiratory allergy and asthma with farming practices, adjusting for other important variables. Results: Of 2,081 participants, 27.8% were farmers. Reduced risks of atopic sensitization, respiratory allergy and asthma were observed among farmers compared to non-farmers. After adjustment for sex and age, which are major confounders, the odds ratio for atopic sensitization was 0.79 (95% confidence interval: 0.65, 0.97) for farmers versus non-farmers. Asthma showed a similar trend; however, there was no statistically significant difference in either respiratory allergy or asthma rates observed between farmers and non-farmers. Conclusions: The prevalence of atopy was lower in adult farmers than in non-farmers.



Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

References

  1. Heederik D, Sigsgaard T: Respiratory allergy in agricultural workers: recent developments. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;5:129–134.
  2. Monso E, Magarolas R, Radon K, Danuser B, Iversen M, Weber C, et al: Respiratory symptoms of obstructive lung disease in European crop farmers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;162:1246–1250.
  3. Portengen L, Sigsgaard T, Omland O, Hjort C, Heederik D, Doekes G: Low prevalence of atopy in young Danish farmers and farming students born and raised on a farm. Clin Exp Allergy 2002;32:247–253.
  4. Hoppin JA, Umbach DM, London SJ, Alavanja MC, Sandler DP: Animal production and wheeze in the Agricultural Health Study: interactions with atopy, asthma, and smoking. Occup Environ Med 2003;60:e3.
  5. Radon K, Garz S, Riess A, Koops F, Monso E, Weber C, et al: Respiratory diseases in European farmers-II. Part of the European farmers’ project (in German). Pneumologie 2003;57:510–517.
  6. Eduard W, Douwes J, Omenaas E, Heederik D: Do farming exposures cause or prevent asthma? Results from a study of adult Norwegian farmers. Thorax 2004;59:381–386.
  7. Eduard W, Omenaas E, Bakke PS, Douwes J, Heederik D: Atopic and non-atopic asthma in a farming and a general population. Am J Ind Med 2004;46:396–399.
  8. Filipiak B, Heinrich J, Schafer T, Ring J, Wichmann HE: Farming, rural lifestyle and atopy in adults from southern Germany – results from the MONICA/KORA study Augsburg. Clin Exp Allergy 2001;31:1829–1838.
  9. Kimbell-Dunn M, Bradshaw L, Slater T, Erkinjuntti-Pekkanen R, Fishwick D, Pearce N: Asthma and allergy in New Zealand farmers. Am J Ind Med 1999;35:51–57.
  10. Barnes M, Cullinan P, Athanasaki P, MacNeill S, Hole AM, Harris J, et al: Crete: does farming explain urban and rural differences in atopy? Clin Exp Allergy 2001;31:1822–1828.
  11. Radon K, Windstetter D, Eckart J, Dressel H, Leitritz L, Reichert J, et al: Farming exposure in childhood, exposure to markers of infections and the development of atopy in rural subjects. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34:1178–1183.
  12. Remes ST, Iivanainen K, Koskela H, Pekkanen J: Which factors explain the lower prevalence of atopy amongst farmers’ children? Clin Exp Allergy 2003;33:427–434.
  13. Remes ST, Pekkanen J, Soininen L, Kajosaari M, Husman T, Koivikko A: Does heredity modify the association between farming and allergy in children? Acta Paediatr 2002;91:1163–1169.
  14. Riedler J, Braun-Fahrlander C, Eder W, Schreuer M, Waser M, Maisch S, et al: Exposure to farming in early life and development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 2001;358:1129–1133.
  15. Downs SH, Marks GB, Mitakakis TZ, Leuppi JD, Car NG, Peat JK: Having lived on a farm and protection against allergic diseases in Australia. Clin Exp Allergy 2001;31:570–575.
  16. Riedler J, Eder W, Oberfeld G, Schreuer M: Austrian children living on a farm have less hay fever, asthma and allergic sensitization. Clin Exp Allergy 2000;30:194–200.
  17. Ernst P, Cormier Y: Relative scarcity of asthma and atopy among rural adolescents raised on a farm. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;161:1563–1566.
  18. Braun-Fahrlander C: Allergic diseases in farmers’ children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2000;11(suppl 13):19–22.
  19. Braun-Fahrlander C, Gassner M, Grize L, Neu U, Sennhauser FH, Varonier HS, et al: Prevalence of hay fever and allergic sensitization in farmer’s children and their peers living in the same rural community. SCARPOL team. Swiss Study on Childhood Allergy and Respiratory Symptoms with Respect to Air Pollution. Clin Exp Allergy 1999;29:28–34.
  20. Elliott L, Yeatts K, Loomis D: Ecological associations between asthma prevalence and potential exposure to farming. Eur Respir J 2004;24:938–941.
  21. Braback L, Hjern A, Rasmussen F: Trends in asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema among Swedish conscripts from farming and non-farming environments. A nationwide study over three decades. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34:38–43.
  22. Rennie DC, Dosman J, Senthilselvan A: Respiratory symptoms and asthma in two farming populations: a comparison of Hutterite and non-Hutterite children. Can Respir J 2002;9:313–318.

    External Resources

  23. Klintberg B, Berglund N, Lilja G, Wickman M, van Hage-Hamsten M: Fewer allergic respiratory disorders among farmers’ children in a closed birth cohort from Sweden. Eur Respir J 2001;17:1151–1157.
  24. Von Ehrenstein OS, Von Mutius E, Illi S, Baumann L, Bohm O, von Kries R: Reduced risk of hay fever and asthma among children of farmers. Clin Exp Allergy 2000;30:187–193.
  25. von Mutius E, Braun-Fahrlander C, Schierl R, Riedler J, Ehlermann S, Maisch S, et al: Exposure to endotoxin or other bacterial components might protect against the development of atopy. Clin Exp Allergy 2000;30:1230–1234.
  26. Upham JW, Holt PG: Environment and development of atopy. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;5:167–172.
  27. Johnson CC, Alford SH: Do animals on the farm and in the home reduce the risk of pediatric atopy? Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2002;2:133–139.
  28. Kemp A, Bjorksten B: Immune deviation and the hygiene hypothesis: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2003;14:74–80.
  29. Romagnani S: The increased prevalence of allergy and the hygiene hypothesis: missing immune deviation, reduced immune suppression, or both? Immunology 2004;112:352–363.
  30. The use of standardized allergen extracts. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:583–586.
  31. Radon K, Ehrenstein V, Praml G, Nowak D: Childhood visits to animal buildings and atopic diseases in adulthood: an age-dependent relationship. Am J Ind Med 2004;46:349–356.
  32. Jenkins PL, Earle-Richardson G, Bell EM, May JJ, Green A: Chronic disease risk in central New York dairy farmers: results from a large health survey 1989–1999. Am J Ind Med 2005;47:20–26.
  33. Dosman JA, Lawson JA, Kirychuk SP, Cormier Y, Biem J, Koehncke N: Occupational asthma in newly employed workers in intensive swine confinement facilities. Eur Respir J 2004;24:698–702.
  34. Chatzi L, Prokopakis E, Tzanakis N, Alegakis A, Bizakis I, Siafakas N, et al: Allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopy among grape farmers in a rural population in Crete, Greece. Chest 2005;127:372–378.
  35. Holt PG, Sly PD, Bjorksten B: Atopic versus infectious diseases in childhood: a question of balance? Pediatr Allergy Immunol 1997;8:53–58.
  36. Yabuhara A, Macaubas C, Prescott SL, Venaille TJ, Holt BJ, Habre W, et al: TH2-polarized immunological memory to inhalant allergens in atopics is established during infancy and early childhood. Clin Exp Allergy 1997;27:1261–1269.
  37. Julge K, Meriste S, Kemp A, Bjorksten B: Atopic allergy and delayed type hypersensitivity in Estonian children. Clin Exp Allergy 2002;32:1420–1423.
  38. Yazdanbakhsh M, Kremsner PG, van Ree R: Allergy, parasites, and the hygiene hypothesis. Science 2002;296:490–494.
  39. Bach JF: The effect of infections on susceptibility to autoimmune and allergic diseases. N Engl J Med 2002;347:911–920.
  40. Wills-Karp M, Santeliz J, Karp CL: The germless theory of allergic disease: revisiting the hygiene hypothesis. Nat Rev Immunol 2001;1:69–75.


Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50