A new study from the National Farm Medicine Center seeks to find why farm kids are healthier than their city cousins.
According to the American Farm Bureau, the study will look at why childhood exposures unique to farm environments promote immunologic development that limits the severity of childhood allergic diseases and asthma.
The Center, along with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will follow 200 babies from the Marshfield, Wis., area over the next two years. Half of the babies will be from farm families and half from rural families not living on farms.
The study is being funded by a $5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For more information, call the study hotline at 1-800-512-5488.
Last year, another study found that kids who grow up on farms grow up with regular exposure to dust, pollen, animals and manure, which encourages a more robust immune system compared to the more hygienic city life. In fact, farm kids are 30 to 50 percent less likely to develop allergies or asthma than those who live in the city.