Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Childhood Immune Illnesses Presage Lifelong Disease Patterns
September 10, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: News

 Sep 10, 2010

Dietert RR, JC DeWitt, DR Germolec and JT Zelikoff. 2010. Breaking patterns of environmentally influenced disease for health risk reduction: Immune perspectives. Environmental Health Perspectives
Synopsis by Thea Edwards and Wendy Hessler

The immune system may underlie several, seemingly unrelated health problems, many of which surface in childhood and precede others experienced across a lifetime, according to researchers who liken these early life immune dysfunctions to canaries in a coal mine.

Understanding these “patterns of disease” could help predict – and perhaps prevent – lifelong health problems, the researchers explain. For example, “entryway” childhood diseases involving the immune system – such as asthma and type 1 diabetes – are frequently triggered by prenatal exposures to chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other environmental factors. Preventing the primary exposures and treating the entryway conditions could decrease the ensuing lifetime risk for cancer, heart disease and other problems that often follow.

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