Frequent childhood allergies increase the risk of mental and chronic inflammatory diseases later in life. Researchers at the University of Zurich and the University of Lausanne have come to this conclusion in a new study.
They found that the incidence of childhood illnesses and allergies, as well as trauma in childhood followed by susceptibility to disease.
For their study, researchers around the author of the study Vladet Ajdacic-Gross of the University of Zurich evaluated the epidemiological data of nearly 5000 people born in the mid-20th century. Based on a childhood formula, scientists have identified five groups as reported by the University of Zurich on Monday.
These groups were characterized by biological markers such as white blood cells and inflammatory markers. The researchers then correlated these patterns of childhood disease with chronic inflammatory and adult mental illnesses. They recently reported on their findings in "BMC Medicine".
Allergies and traumas make you vulnerable
The researchers found a link between childhood patterns and the resulting susceptibility to mental illness in three groups: the "atopic" group (7%) with multiple allergies, the "mixed" group (9%) with isolated allergies and toothache such as Scarlet Fever, Cough or rubella and a "traumatized" group in which children experienced great psychosocial anxiety in childhood. These were more prone to allergies but relatively resistant to childhood viral diseases.
The same three groups were also more susceptible to chronic inflammatory diseases. However, in the traumatized group, this increased risk of disease was confined to women, the article says.
Once flexible, always flexible
The largest group – less than 60% of the subjects studied – had an extraordinary "neutral" immune system with relatively low childhood stress. The second largest, about 20%, had a particularly flexible immune system: the symptoms of measles, mumps and rubella, for which there was no vaccine protection at that time, were significantly less pronounced than in the "neutral" group.
According to the study, a resistant group was also better protected in adulthood, both against mental and chronic inflammatory diseases.
"The results show that the immune system acts as a charge between somatic and mental processes," Ajdacic-Gross said. "They help us understand why many people without psychosocial frontloading of mental problems are caught and why traumatized people are prone to chronic inflammatory diseases."
Confirmation for hygiene hypothesis
Other comparative analyzes have also shown that the proportion of defined groups has shifted over time. In older age groups, a neutral and resilient group makes up a larger proportion than the younger. On the contrary, the proportion of "atopic" allergy-related group increases in younger people.
This finding also confirms the so-called "Hygienic Hypothesis", which states that improved hygiene and increased transition from rural life to city change have increased susceptibility to allergies in the population.
The immune system comes into contact with fewer and more early microbes when the child grows up in the city than when they grow up on a farm. However, through contact with various microbes, the immune system learns how to deal with pathogens and harmless things like pollen. (Nag / SDA)
Created: 29.04.2019, 14:31 o'clock