Allergies Risk Factors

Who's most at risk?

It isn't fully understood why some people become oversensitive to allergens, although you're more likely to develop an allergy if there's a history of allergies in your family.

If this is the case, you're said to be "atopic", or to have "atopy". People who are atopic have a genetic tendency to develop allergic conditions. Their increased immune response to allergens results in increased production of IgE antibodies.

Environmental factors may also play a part. Studies have shown certain things may increase the chance of a child developing allergies, such as growing up in a house where people smoke and being exposed to dust mites at a young age.

Source: NHS Choices UK1

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Protective Factors for Allergies

Household endotoxins: Interestingly, early life exposure to household endotoxin protects children against the development of allergies. In contrast, this new research shows that adult exposure to endotoxin raises the risk of asthma.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)2

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  1. Source: NHS Choices UK: conditions/ allergic-rhinitis/ causes/ 
  2. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2005/ October2005/ docs/ 02capsules.htm

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