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The effect of farming environment on asthma; time dependent or universal?

The effect of farming environment on asthma; time dependent or universal?

Title: The effect of farming environment on asthma; time dependent or universal?
Author: Madsen, Marie Kjær
Schlünssen, Vivi
Svanes, Cecilie
Johannessen, Ane
Jõgi, Nils Oskar
Holm, Mathias
Janson, Christer   orcid.org/0000-0001-5093-6980
Pereira-Vega, Antonio
Lowe, Adrian J.
Franklin, Karl A.
... 7 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2022-07-27
Language: English
Scope: 10
University/Institute: Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland
Department: Internal Medicine and Emergency Services
Series: European Journal of Epidemiology; 37(8)
ISSN: 0393-2990
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-022-00893-2
Subject: Lungnalæknisfræði; Asthma; ECRHS; Farm opbringing; RHINE; RHINESSA; Prevalence; Farms; Humans; Logistic Models; Agriculture; Asthma/epidemiology; Epidemiology
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3497

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Madsen , M K , Schlünssen , V , Svanes , C , Johannessen , A , Jõgi , N O , Holm , M , Janson , C , Pereira-Vega , A , Lowe , A J , Franklin , K A , Malinovschi , A , Sigsgaard , T , Abramson , M J , Bertelsen , R , Oudin , A , Gíslason , Þ & Timm , S 2022 , ' The effect of farming environment on asthma; time dependent or universal? ' , European Journal of Epidemiology , vol. 37 , no. 8 , pp. 779-788 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-022-00893-2


The increasing prevalence of asthma is linked to westernization and urbanization. Farm environments have been associated with a lower risk of asthma development. However, this may not be universal, as the association differs across birth cohorts and farming methods. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of farm upbringing with asthma in different generations and at different times in history. The study population consisted of three generations: 13,868 subjects participating in the ECRHS in 2010, their 9,638 parents, and their 8,885 offspring participating in RHINESSA in 2013. Information on place of upbringing and self-reported ever asthma was provided via questionnaires. Logistic regression was performed including subgroup analysis stratified by generation and birthyear into ten-year-intervals. The prevalence of asthma increased from 8% among grandparents to 13% among parents and to 18% among offspring. An overall analysis showed an inverse association of farm upbringing on the risk of asthma (OR = 0.64; 95%CI 0.55–0.74). Subgroup analysis stratified into ten-year-intervals showed a tendency towards a more pronounced inverse association between growing up on a farm and asthma among subjects born in the 1940s (0.74; 0.48–1.12), 1950s (0.70; 0.54–0.90) and 1960s (0.70; 0.52–0.93). For subjects born in 1970 and thereafter this association appeared less consistent. While growing up on a farm was associated with a reduced risk of developing asthma in participants born between 1945–1999, this was mainly driven by generations born from 1945 to 1973.


Funding Information: MJA holds investigator-initiated grants from Pfizer and Boehringer-Ingelheim for unrelated research. He has undertaken an unrelated consultancy for and received assistance with conference attendance from Sanofi. He has also received a speaker’s fee from GSK. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant for the content of this article. Funding Information: The ECRHS/RHINE/RHINESSA study was supported by grants from The Faculty of Health, Aarhus University, Denmark (Project No. 240008), The Wood Dust Foundation (Project No. 444508795), The Danish Lung Association, the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, the Swedish Association Against Asthma and Allergy, the Swedish Association against Heart and Lung Disease, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, The Bror Hjerpstedt Foundation, The Vårdal Foundation for Health Care and Allergic Research, The Norwegian Research Council (Grant Nos. 214123, 230827/F20, 228174 and 135773/330), The Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association, HelseVest Norway (Grant No. 911 631), The Icelandic Research Council, The University of Iceland Research Fund, The Icelandic GP’s Research Fund, The Estonian Science Foundation (Grant No. 4350), The Estonian Research Council (Grant No. PUT562), Melbourne University, National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia, SEPAR Spain, Sociedad Española de Neumologia y Cirugía Toracica Spain and Horizon2020 PHC1 (Grant No. 633212). For further information about funding sources, please consult www.rhinessa.net . Vivi Schlünssen and Cecilie Svanes are members of the COST BM1201 network. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, Springer Nature B.V. © 2022. Springer Nature B.V.

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