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Young children who entered day care centers before age six months had far less asthma after age six than children who did not go to day care. The authors claim that children who enter day care are exposed to far more germs from other children in day care and get far more infections early in life which they claim prevents asthma. They also showed that young preschool children who had older brothers in school were far less likely to suffer asthma later in life.

Do you know why these studies do not show that infections prevent asthma? Preschool children who have older brothers in school do get more infections and the study showed that they wheeze more before they start school. The same applies to those in day care. They also get more infections and wheeze more from the infections in their preschool years. But after they start school, the children with older brothers and sisters and the children who went to day care wheeze less. Because most of their wheezing is caused by infections. And they have had far more infections when they were younger and therefore have a stronger immunity which protects them from these same infections later on. So the authors are wrong. They have shown that the children who have the most infections when they are younger have the best and strongest immunities from their previous infections and therefore get fewer infections and wheeze less because they are infected less later on.

Extensive research shows that most children with asthma have been infected with respiratory syncytial virus and this virus triggers their asthma. The poorest kids who get the most infections are the ones with the worst and most severe asthma.

1) NEJM August 24, 2000.

2) M GassnerBachmann, B Wuthrich. Farmers children have a low prevalence of hay fever and asthma. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 2000, Vol 125, Iss 31-32, pp 924-931. Gassner-Bachmann M, Speziell Allergol & Klin Immunol, Spitalstr 8, CH-9472 Grabs, SWITZERLAND

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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