IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 2128: Influence of Farm Environment on Asthma during the Life Course: A Population-Based Birth Cohort Study in Northern Finland (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
We investigated the influence of a farming environment on asthma at three time points from birth to 46 years using the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (n = 10,926). The prevalence of asthma was investigated by postal questionnaires at 14, 31 and 46 years of age. Exposure to a farming environment was assessed by a postal questionnaire at birth and at 31 and 46 years of age. Odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the prevalence of asthma were obtained from multinomial logistic regression, stratified by sex. Being born in a farmer family was potentially causally associated with lower risk of asthma in males at 31 years of age (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.37, 0.85) and in females at 46 years of age (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.44, 0.95). Working as a farmer was not associated with asthma. Exposure to a farming environment in childhood may have a lifelong impact on developing asthma from birth through young adulthood and until middle age, indicating that ‘immune deviation’ may persist throughout life.