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Foreign-Born U.S. Children Have Lower Odds of Atopic Disorders

WEDNESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. children born outside the United States have reduced odds of any atopic disease, according to a study published online April 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Jonathan I. Silverberg, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, and colleagues distributed a cross-sectional questionnaire to 91,642 children aged 0 to 17 years enrolled in the National Survey of Children's Health to examine the correlation between birthplace and prevalence of childhood allergic disease.

The researchers found that the odds of any atopic disorders were significantly lower for children born outside the United States versus those born in the United States (odds ratio, 0.48), including ever-asthma, current asthma, eczema, hay fever, and food allergies. After adjustment for variables, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, and residence in metropolitan areas, the correlation remained significant. The odds of any atopic disorder were significantly lower for children born outside the United States whose parents were also born outside the United States. The odds of developing any allergic disorders, including eczema and hay fever, but not asthma or food allergies, were increased for children born outside the United States who had lived in the United States for more than 10 years versus those who had resided in the United States for less than two years (adjusted odds ratio, 3.04).

"In conclusion, foreign-born Americans have significantly lower risk of allergic disease than U.S.-born Americans," the authors write. "Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to better understand allergic disease triggers in this group."

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