Latest Allergies News
Researchers evaluated more than 1,200 newborns when they were 1 month, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years old.
By age 2, babies born by cesarean section were five times more likely to have allergies than those born naturally when exposed to high levels of common household allergens such as pet dander and dust mites.
The findings "further advance the hygiene hypothesis that early childhood exposure to microorganisms affects the immune system's development and onset of allergies," study lead author Christine Cole Johnson, chairwoman of the health sciences department at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said in a hospital news release. "We believe a baby's exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system."
Babies born by C-section have a pattern of "at-risk" microorganisms in their gastrointestinal tract that may make them more susceptible to developing the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) when exposed to allergens, Johnson said.
Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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