Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Asthma rise and the hygiene hypothesis: evidence from Helicobacter

A bit more support for the hygiene hypothesis...
Resistance: Bacterium Linked to Ulcers May Lower Risk of Asthma - New York Times:

...According to the article, which appears in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, H. pylori acquisition in industrialized countries has been diminishing with each succeeding generation for at least the past 60 years.

“Helicobacter was once ubiquitous,” said Dr. Martin J. Blaser, a co-author of the article and the chairman of the department of medicine at New York University. “We provide evidence that there is a relationship between the decrease in helicobacter prevalence and the increase in childhood asthma.”

The researchers noted that their observations were consistent with the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that childhood infections, particularly infections of the gut, help diminish or prevent allergies and asthma.
Asthma, peanut allergies, atopic eczema ... there's a lot of that around. Getting a dog might help. That reminds me, whatever happened to studies suggesting intestinal worm infections help prevent and even treat ulcerative colitis?

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