Early-life Farm Exposures and Adult Asthma

The director of SSS’ Epidemiology Center, Christie Barker-Cummings, is among the authors of an article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that describes the results of a study that explored the connection between early-life farming exposures (such as contact with farm animals and consuming raw milk) and asthma and allergy in adults. An analysis of data from farmers and their spouses from a substudy of the Agricultural Health Study showed that exposure to the farming environment in utero and in early childhood had little or no association with asthma but was associated with reduced odds of atopy (being “hyperallergic”) in adulthood. The article was coauthored with former SSS staff and researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina State University, Westat, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Cancer Institute.