Asthma And Wheezing Influenced By Family Lifestyle (Swedish Study)

A new study from Sweden was published by Dr. Magnus Wickman and colleagues,from the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, in the medical journal Allergy 2003;58:730-731,742-747. The authors of this study were analyzing data of a prospective birth cohort study of 4089 children who were born in Sweden between 1994 and 1996.

The families were given health questionaires at the age of 2 months to assess whether the family was adhering to the allergy prevention guidelines (see below). Questionaires were again given at the age of 1 year and 2 years of these children. Specific questions were asked regarding environmental conditions in the house where the children lived. In the mid 1990’s allergy prevention guidelines were strongly recommended to the public in Sweden regarding the value of breast feeding, the avoidance of smoking inside the house in the presence of children, also that a house should be kept well ventilated and without dampness. All of these factors, as was stressed by the allergists in Sweden who organized the campaign, would protect the immune system from allergies against molds, dust mites as well as cigarette smoke and should reduce the rates of asthma.
Here are the results in tabular form.

Asthma And Wheezing Influenced By Family Lifestyle (Swedish Study)

Asthma And Wheezing Influenced By Family Lifestyle (Swedish Study)

As can be seen from this table, which is based on families without allergic parents, a two-fold drop of asthma and wheezing occured when the allergy prevention guidelines were followed in the house. With allergic parents the children had an even greater benefit as the reduction of asthma and wheezing was three-fold when compared to controls who did not follow the guidelines. This is one of the few studies, which shows conclusively that allergy prevention works!

Link to asthma chapter of Dr. Schilling’s Net Health Book:

Swedish Family Lifestyle Study
Agreement with
allergy guidelines
% of asthma and wheezing at ages 1 and 2 of child:
Yes (all three measures followed) 6.8% 12.6%
No (one or none of measures followed) 17.9% 24.1%

Last edited October 26, 2014