Allergies in Childhood increase the risk for mental illness

Mental illness: susceptibility to disease develops in childhood

In a new study has shown that frequent allergies in Childhood the risk for mental and chronic inflammatory diseases in adulthood. The new findings are further confirmation of the hygiene hypothesis.

Allergies have greatly increased

“The so-called hygiene hypothesis, farm or rare forest hypothesis is based on the observation that allergies and atopic diseases have increased in the last decades in the industrialized countries, and here especially among the city residents,” it says on the Portal “Allergy information service”. From this hypothesis on the basis, among a group of Swiss researchers sought to now data from nearly 5,000 individuals and found that traumatized children and children with multiple allergies in adulthood of chronic inflammatory diseases and mental impairments.

People who suffered in childhood allergies, in adults at a higher risk for mental disorders. (Image: Zlatan Durakovic/

Immune system is shaped in Childhood

The human immune system is shaped in Childhood: The so-called hygiene hypothesis provides a much-noticed perspective, says a press release from the University of Zurich (UZH).

This hypothesis States that better Hygiene, changes in agriculture and urbanisation have led to the fact that our immune system comes with some microbes less often or later in life.

As the negative consequences of this development, an increase in chronic inflammatory disorders are suspected, allergies, and mental disorders such as depression.

Studies have also been a number of these assumptions could be confirmed. So Swiss researchers found that living on a farm protects against the development of allergies.

Swedish scientists found that Pets reduce the risk of Allergy in children.

And in a U.S. study showed that house dust town to protect children from allergies.

Five different groups

Scientists from the universities of Zurich and Lausanne, investigated the hygiene hypothesis, based on epidemiological data from a cohort of almost 5,000 middle of the 20th century. Century-born persons.

They focused on the coincidence of allergies, viral and bacterial diseases as well as psycho-social stress in Childhood.

From early in the disease patterns, the researchers identified five distinct groups, which they characterized on the basis of biological markers (white blood cells, inflammatory markers) and in a further step, with chronic inflammatory diseases and mental disorders in adult age.

The results of the study were published recently in the journal “BMC Medicine”.

The main group which comprised nearly 60 percent of the studied people, and had a inconspicuous, “neutral” immune system. Their burden of disease in children was comparatively low.

Even more, this was the case for the second-largest group with about 20 per cent of the persons: they showed a particularly robust, “resilient” immune system.

Even symptoms of typical and at that time the unavoidable childhood diseases such as measles, Mumps or rubella manifested in this group was significantly less than in the neutral group.

The resilient group of three smaller groups: In the “atopic” group (7 percent) occurred in several allergic diseases.

The approximately equal-sized “mixed” group (about 9 percent) was characterized by single allergic diseases – such as medications, allergies as well as bacterial and skin rashes associated children were diseases such as scarlet fever, whooping cough or rubella.

The smallest of the five groups (around 5 percent) consisted of people who were traumatized in Childhood. They were more prone to allergic diseases, responded but comparatively resilient in typical viral children diseases.

The hygiene hypothesis is confirmed

According to the communication from the Uni comparison, there were analyses that the neutral and the resilient group are represented in the older cohorts more than younger.

Exactly the opposite it was but with the atopic group: This has increased in younger cohorts.

“Thus, our study confirms the hygiene hypothesis,” said first author Vladeta Ajdačić-Gross from the University of Zurich, “but at the same time beyond them”.

Because of the differences between the groups manifest themselves also in terms of later health.

According to the figures, persons, belonging to the resilient group were protected, in adulthood not only chronic inflammatory diseases but also psychological discomfort better.

Who heard, however, of the atopic, or the mixed group was later exposed to an increased risk of disease – both in the somatic and in the psychic realm.

Also, the traumatized group showed a higher susceptibility to mental disorders in adulthood, and – however, only when the women are at a higher risk for chronic inflammatory diseases.

“The results indicate that the immune system place as a switch between somatic and mental processes work,” said Ajdačić-Large.

“They help us to understand, which is why a lot of people without psychosocial Impacts of mental complaints are obtained and tend to be which is why, conversely, traumatized individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases.” (ad)