November 12, 2012
Children in more affluent families are more likely to develop peanut allergy, a preliminary study suggests.
The researchers said their findings support the theory that a lack of exposure to germs during early childhood increases the future risk of allergies. This so-called “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that living in an overly clean home may suppress the natural development of a child’s immune system.
For the study, the investigators looked at more than 8,300 people and found that nearly 800 had an elevated antibody level to peanuts, according to the study presented Friday at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in Anaheim, Calif.