The numbers, as presented in a paper entitled “Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children” published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are striking.
Whereas 20% of the Hutterite children in North Dakota suffer asmtha, only 2% of the Amish children in Indiana suffer the affiliction.
Both the Hutterite and Amish communities share similar backgrounds. The Hutterites originated in Austria, the Amish in Switzerland. Both groups tend to have large families and lead very simple lifestyles. Both groups share similar diets, do not expose children to tobacco smoke, or allow pets in the home.
In reading the paper, I was reminded of past shows in the Food Chain Radio archives, including #775 “The Amish Allergy Anomoly,” and #662 “An Amish Autism Anomoly,” and wondered...
Could the difference be related to the “hygiene hypothesis” of disease resistance?
And so, we ask...
Why do so many Hutterite children have asthma, while so few Amish children suffer the affliction?
Food Chain Radio & Forums #1,070 (Tags: Anne Sperling, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Chicago, “Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children,” hygiene hypothesis, Amish, Hutterite, disease resistance)