A recent study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting asserts that higher incidence of peanut allergy may be associated with more affluent socioeconomic status.
Researchers believe this is further evidence in support of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, which states that people who grow up in more sanitary households are less exposed to germs, leading to less developed immune systems and greater susceptibility to allergies.
“Overall household income is only associated with peanut sensitization in children aged one to nine years,” said lead author, Sandy Yip, M.D. “This may indicate that development of peanut sensitization at a young age is related to affluence, but those developed later in life are not.”
The research also linked higher prevalence of peanut allergy with sex, age, and race. The study looked at 8,306 subjects, 776 of whom had higher levels of allergy antibodies when exposed to peanuts.
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