Analysis of two surveys involving 13,524 asthma–free children aged less than 12 years in the ongoing Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) showed that children living in a farming environment had a lower risk of developing asthma than their counterparts who resided in either non-farming rural environments, such as residential acreages and rural towns, or an urban environment.
The two-year cumulative incidence of asthma was only 2.3 per cent in farm children, compared to 5.3 per cent for other rural and 5.7 per cent for urban children.
The study was published recently in the journal Respirology.
“Farm children of ages one to five years also showed a stronger protective effect against asthma than those aged six to 11 years, possibly due to earlier exposure to the farm environment,” said William Midodzi, lead author on the study and a PhD candidate in the Department of Public Health Sciences in the University of Alberta School of Public Health in Edmonton, Canada.
As well, youngsters with parental history of asthma living in farming environments had a reduced risk of asthma compared to children living in rural non-farm environments, whereas children with parental history of asthma living in urban areas had a higher risk when compared with children living in rural non-farm environments.
Midodzi speculates that exposure to compounds called “endotoxins” from animal viruses and manure and avoidance of urban environment early in life might have reduced the risk for development of asthma.
This study shows that living in a farming environment reduces the risk of developing asthma, in contrast to previous studies reporting that existing asthma was related to exposure to farming environments. The researchers believe that exposure to endotoxins stimulates the body’s immune system and keeps it busy fighting bacteria thus reducing the risk of the body turning its immune attention to lung inflammation that causes asthma.
Clinicians who treat patients with asthma can use these findings to identify high-risk children and also educate parents, said study co-authors Carina Majaesic and Brian Rowe, University of Alberta clinician-scientists and physicians with the Capital Health region.
“This research suggests that we should discourage childhood exposure to tobacco smoke, encourage breast feeding, and not worry about keeping children’s environment too sterile,” said Majaesic.
Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy