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What have studies of non-industrialized countries told us about the cause of allergic disease?

Fogarty, Andrew W.

What have studies of non-industrialized countries told us about the cause of allergic disease? Thumbnail


Clinical Associate Professor & Reader in Clinical Epidemiology


The increase in allergic diseases that was observed in countries that had experienced rapid economic growth since the mid-20th century initiated a search for environmental exposures that may explain these phenomena that continues to the present day. Societies that are in the earlier stages of the process of industrialization provide an opportunity to compare the initial stages of economic development and the lifestyle changes that may accompany this, with other communities whose way of life may not have changed appreciably for centuries. These studies have consistently demonstrated higher levels of allergic disease in the relatively affluent populations compared with those who maintain a more traditional lifestyle. Environmental changes that have emerged from these studies that may modify the risk of allergic disease include microbial exposures including parasite infection, pollution, diet and obesity. In addition, food and drug allergies represent a neglected area of research in these countries that may be causing a relatively high burden of disease.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 8, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 26, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 24, 2016
Journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy
Print ISSN 0954-7894
Electronic ISSN 1365-2222
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 1
Keywords allergy, asthma, economic development, industrialisation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: A.W. Fogarty, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2015 (45) 87–93, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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