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Anthroposophic lifestyle and salivary cortisol are associated with a lower risk of sensitization during childhood
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Epidemiologi)
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2015 (English)In: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, ISSN 0905-6157, E-ISSN 1399-3038, Vol. 26, no 2, 153-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Infants from anthroposophic families have low cortisol levels and low risk of IgE-sensitization during first 2years of life. Our aim was to study the impact of an anthroposophic lifestyle and cortisol levels at 6months on allergy sensitization up to age 5years.

Methods A total of 507 families participated from maternal healthcare centers. Parental lifestyle was categorized as anthroposophic, partly anthroposophic, or non-anthroposophic. Blood samples for analyzes of sensitization were obtained from parents at inclusion and from children at 6, 12, 24, and 60months. Salivary samples were collected at home at 6months.

Results Sensitization increased from 2.9% to 26.0% in the anthroposophic group, from 8.4% to 26.8% in the partly anthroposophic group, and from 19.1% to 44.1% in the non-anthroposophic group. Children from anthroposophic families had lower cortisol levels in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The odds ratio (OR) for anthroposophic lifestyle was always <1 and lowest at 12months (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.03-0.36). Adjusting for cortisol levels at 6 months increased these ORs at 12 and 24months. At the same ages, ORs for sensitization were elevated also for cortisol levels at 6months. Analyzes in children not sensitized at 6months confirmed the cortisol-related risk of sensitization.

Conclusions Children from families with an anthroposophic lifestyle have lower risk than comparisons of developing sensitization up to 5years. This risk is partially explained by low cortisol levels during infancy. High cortisol levels at 6months predict sensitization up to 24months.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 26, no 2, 153-160 p.
Keyword [en]
Allergic sensitization, anthroposophic lifestyle, children, salivary cortisol, stress
National Category
Pediatrics Immunology in the medical area
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117019DOI: 10.1111/pai.12342ISI: 000351626800011PubMedID: 25620268Local ID: P3254OAI: diva2:810063


Available from: 2015-05-06 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved

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Theorell, Töres
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