Environmental factors behind allergy
It has been shown that mites, tobacco smoke and poor air circulation in our buildings contribute to the development of allergy in children, and that environmental factors for families with farms and people who lead an anthroposophic lifestyle might provide protection against allergy. Material from specific bacteria and from our intestinal flora, the composition of which has probably changed as a result of improved hygienic standards, are of particular interest in terms of this protection.
The reason for the quick increase of IgE-mediated allergy has only been partially investigated. Localizing additional and more precise causal links would be of major importance, since the occurrence of allergy and other hypersensitivity in Sweden exceeds 30%, making it a nationally widespread disease among children and young people. These studies will hopefully create better understanding of the genesis mechanisms of allergic disease in children. Another interesting issue involves determining whether immunological markers in the placenta, for example, can be used to predict the risk of the child developing allergy.