Does Being Born in the U.S. Make You More Likely to Have Allergies?

ByKylie McConville
Updated
Mar 2017
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Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

A new study published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics concluded that children living in the United States are more likely to have allergies than children born elsewhere but now living in the United States.

Researchers involved in the study examined data from more than 91,600 children under the age of 18 who had taken part in the 2007-08 National Survey of Children’s Health. The analysis revealed that children born outside the country were significantly less likely to have allergies, including asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergies.

Although, the risk of certain allergies among foreign-born children does increase after they have lived in the U.S. for a decade. Researchers also found that foreign-born children whose parents were also born outside of the U.S, were much less likely to have allergies, compared to their American born counterparts whose parents were born here in the U.S.

Dr. Jonathan Silverberg of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York concluded, "Foreign-born Americans have significantly lower risk of allergic disease than U.S.-born Americans. However, foreign-born Americans develop increased risk for allergic disease with prolonged residence in the United States.

The most interesting finding during the study, however, was that researchers found that the risk of certain allergies among foreign-born children actually increases after they’ve lived here for a decade.

Do your children have allergies?** How do you deal?**

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