It seems that the current “allergy epidemic” is due not so much to an increase in allergenic risk factors as to the disappearance of factors protecting people against allergies. The human immune system has not had the time to adapt to the rapid changes in the urban environment and way of life.
These are the conclusions of Professor Tari Haahtela and his research team, who have been studying allergies in Finnish and Russian Karelia. Their project is part of the Academy’s Microbes and Man Research Programme, the evaluation of which has just been completed.
The research was concerned with the prevalence of allergic diseases in Finnish and Russian Karelia as well as risk factors in schoolchildren and their mothers. The prevalence of atopic allergy was determined by skin prick tests and by measuring serum antibodies. Other data were collected by questionnaires.
In Finland, the risk of allergic predisposition in children is four times and in mothers 2.4 times greater than in Russia. There are also marked country differences in the prevalence of allergic diseases (asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema). Both in children and mothers their prevalence was significantly higher in Finland than in Russia. In an examination of generational differences it was found that children in Finland had more allergies than mothers, whereas in Russia the opposite was true. This suggests that the “allergy epidemic” in Finland is still ongoing, whereas in Russian Karelia it has hardly started.
Parental allergic disease was identified as a risk factor for allergies in children in both regions. Protective factors included farming as the family’s main source of livelihood as well as having pets, especially in early childhood. In part these results lend support to earlier observations, in part they contradict them. An environment rich in microbes seems to generate widespread tolerance against various environmental allergens. In Russian Karelia, atopic allergy, an indirect indicator of westernization, has not increased during the past few generations.
Niko Rinta | alfa
New technology offers fast peptide synthesis
28.02.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biofuel produced by microalgae
28.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
28.02.2017 | Life Sciences
28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.02.2017 | Information Technology