MILWAUKEE, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Day care attendance early in life seems to protect infants and young children from later developing asthma, from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI).
The study, “Influence of early day care exposure on total IgE levels through age 3 years” can be found in the Articles in Press section of the JACI Web site, http://www.jacionline.org/. The JACI is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Janet Rothers, MS, and colleagues examined the relationship between the age at which day care attendance begins and the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in a child’s blood. IgE is an antibody produced by the immune system and an indicator of allergic sensitivity.
* Children who went to day care by 3 months of age had lowered IgE
levels. The IgE levels of day care children remained low through age 3
years, but this protection appeared to be limited to children whose
mothers have asthma or a family history of susceptibility to allergy.
* Children who attended day care outside their own home had lower IgE
levels than those who attended day care in their own home with children
not their siblings, or than children who didn’t attend day care.
The authors speculate that regular exposure to bacteria from two different environments may play a role in immune development and supports the idea that there may be a critically short period when such bacterial exposure can guide the immature immune system to develop on a healthy path.
The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Allergy/immunology specialists are pediatric or internal medicine physicians who have elected an additional two years of training to become specialized in the treatment of asthma, allergy and immunologic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to the public by providing educational information through its Web site at http://www.aaaai.org/.