Occupational Asthma Reference

Fuchs O, Genuneit J, Latzin P, Büchele G, Horak E, Loss G, Sozanska B, Weber J, Heederik D, Braun-Fahrländer C, Frey U, von Mutius E, GABRIELA Study Group, Farming environments and childhood atopy, wheeze, lung function, and exhaled nitric oxide, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2012;130:382-388,
(Plain text: Fuchs O, Genuneit J, Latzin P, Buchele G, Horak E, Loss G, Sozanska B, Weber J, Heederik D, Braun-Fahrlander C, Frey U, von Mutius E, GABRIELA Study Group, Farming environments and childhood atopy, wheeze, lung function, and exhaled nitric oxide, J Allergy Clin Immunol)

Keywords: farming, atopy, children, asthma, FeNO

Known Authors

Dick Heederik, Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht Dick Heederik

Erica von Mutius, Munich Erica von Mutius

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Abstract

Background
Previous studies have demonstrated that children raised on farms are protected from asthma and allergies. It is unknown whether the farming effect is solely mediated by atopy or also affects nonatopic wheeze phenotypes.

Objective
We sought to study the farm effect on wheeze phenotypes and objective markers, such as lung function and exhaled nitric oxide, and their interrelation with atopy in children.

Methods
The GABRIEL Advanced Studies are cross-sectional, multiphase, population-based surveys of the farm effect on asthma and allergic disease in children aged 6 to 12 years. Detailed data on wheeze, farming exposure, and IgE levels were collected from a random sample of 8023 children stratified for farm exposure. Of those, another random subsample of 858 children was invited for spirometry, including bronchodilator tests and exhaled nitric oxide measurements.

Results
We found effects of exposure to farming environments on the prevalence and degree of atopy, on the prevalence of transient wheeze (adjusted odds ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64-0.96), and on the prevalence of current wheeze among nonatopic subjects (adjusted odds ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.32-0.63). There was no farm effect on lung function and exhaled nitric oxide levels in the general study population.

Conclusions
Children living on farms are protected against wheeze independently of atopy. This farm effect is not attributable to improved airway size and lung mechanics. These findings imply as yet unknown protective mechanisms. They might include alterations of immune response and susceptibility to triggers of wheeze, such as viral infections.

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