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I heard that allergies are more common in western countries, and less common in the developing world, is this true?

Smartliving Guest asked this
June 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM

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Yes. It has long been observed that people in developing countries have fewer allergies then people in developed countries. If someone moves to a developed country, his or her risk of allergies goes up the longer he or she is there.

There is a theory called the “Hygiene Hypotheses” that is backed by considerable epidemiological evidence. It basically states that people (especially young children) who are repeatedly exposed to antigens (or minor infections) have an occupied immune system. The immune system is so busy developing resistance to real infections, it does not have the resources to make up “fake infections” by trying to fight off allergens.

People in developed countries have a much cleaner environment, are exposed to fewer antigens and hence, have more allergies.

Stay Healthy, Dr. Jeff M.D.

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD Health Coach answered
June 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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