eCite Digital Repository

Early-life hygiene-related factors affect risk of central nervous system demyelination and asthma differentially


Hughes, A-M and Lucas, RM and McMichael, AJ and Dwyer, T and Pender, MP and van der Mei, I and Taylor, BV and Valery, P and Chapman, C and Coulthard, A and Dear, K and Kilpatrick, TJ and Williams, D and Ponsonby, A-L, Early-life hygiene-related factors affect risk of central nervous system demyelination and asthma differentially, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 172, (3) pp. 466-474. ISSN 0009-9104 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 British Society for Immunology

DOI: doi:10.1111/cei.12077


Summary: The increasing prevalence of immune-related diseases, including multiple sclerosis, may be partly explained by reduced microbial burden during childhood. Within a multi-centre case-control study population, we examined: (i) the co-morbid immune diseases profile of adults with a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination (FCD) and (ii) sibship structure in relation to an autoimmune (FCD) and an allergic (asthma) disease. FCD cases (n=282) were aged 18-59 years; controls (n=558) were matched on age, sex and region. Measures include: history of doctor-diagnosed asthma; sibling profile (number; dates of birth); and regular childcare attendance. FCD cases did not differ from controls with regard to personal or family history of allergy, but had a greater likelihood of chronic fatigue syndrome [odds ratio (OR)=3·11; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·11, 8·71]. Having any younger siblings showed reduced odds of FCD (OR=0·68; 95% CI: 0·49, 0·95) but not asthma (OR=1·47; 95% CI: 0·91, 2·38). In contrast, an increasing number of older siblings was associated with reduced risk of asthma (P trend=0·04) but not FCD (P trend=0·66). Allergies were not over-represented among people presenting with FCD. Sibship characteristics influence both FCD and asthma risk but the underlying mechanisms differ, possibly due to the timing of the putative 'sibling effect'. © 2013 British Society for Immunology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:allergy, asthma, autoimmunity, hygiene, multiple sclerosis, siblings
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:84727
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-05-29
Last Modified:2014-04-17

Repository Staff Only: item control page