About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Rural Poland Sees A Rise In Allergies After Poland's Entry into EU

by Rukmani Krishna on December 20, 2013 at 2:07 AM
Font : A-A+

 Rural Poland Sees A Rise In Allergies After Poland's Entry into EU

A new study suggests Poland's entry into the EU may have had the surprising consequence of increasing allergies in rural villages. Surveys show that the prevalence of atopy, a predisposition towards allergic reactions, jumped from seven per cent to 20 per cent in villages in southwest Poland between 2003 and 2012.

Scientists believe the rise is linked to changes in farming practices that occurred when Poland adopted of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. In 2003, many villagers kept cows or pigs on their land, but after joining the EU it became uneconomical to do so.Exposure to farm animals, especially at a young age, is thought to protect against developing allergies. The findings add to evidence that westernised lifestyles increase the risk of allergic diseases.Previous research has suggested that farm dwellers, especially children who grow up on farms, have lower rates of hayfever and atopy than people living in towns.


Study author Professor Paul Cullinan, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: "Asthma, hayfever, and other allergic diseases are becoming more common in many countries and there's growing evidence that they're linked to modern, clean lifestyles. "We found that rapid changes in farming practices after Poland joined the EU were accompanied by a sharp increase in allergies over a very short period of time. It's likely that similar changes are occurring in other places in Europe, and we can expect that elsewhere in the world, we may see major increases in allergies, asthma and hayfever over the coming decades as countries become more westernised and less rural.

"Researchers from Wroclaw Medical University and Imperial College London conducted surveys in villages and a small town in southwest Poland in 2003, one year before Poland joined the EU, and 2012, to study the prevalence of asthma, hayfever, and atopy, which is diagnosed with a skin prick test.In 2003, 7.3 per cent of villagers tested positive for atopy, compared with 20 per cent of townspeople. In 2012, the prevalence of atopy in villages had risen to 19.6 per cent.

Hayfever also rose, from 3.0 per cent to 7.7 per cent, but the prevalence of asthma did not change significantly. In towns, there were no changes in the prevalence of allergies.Twenty-four per cent of village dwellers had regular or occasional contact with cows in 2003, but this fell to four per cent in 2012. Thirty-three per cent had contact with pigs in 2003 but only 14 per cent in 2012.The study appears in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and was funded by the National Science Centre, Poland.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Choose The Right Over-the-Counter Drugs for Allergy 

Recommended Reading
Allergy - Symptom Evaluation
An allergic reaction may be mild or severe. It usually involves the skin, respiratory system, ......
Types of Food Allergies
If you are allergic to certain food items-Watch out for what you eat...
Dealing with Pollen Allergy
The plants around you that give you sniffles in your nose at specific time of the year are the ......
An allergy is a hypersensitive disorder of immune system. Substances that often cause allergic ......
Choose The Right Over-the-Counter Drugs for Allergy
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be bought without a prescription. OTC allergy medications are for t...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use