The hygiene hypothesis has been a sexy but controversial topic in all the health sciences since its conception in the late 1980’s. The hypothesis being that developed countries have higher incidences of allergy because they are generally cleaner. Sounds simple but 20+ years later, it’s one of the most debated theories in the field. It started with an observation by David Strachan that, in a longitudinal study of individuals from birth to age 23, the incidence of hay fever was inversely correlated with the number of children in the household. In other words, the kids that got hay fever, which...
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