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Stress during infancy may increase risk of allergies later in childhood

Category: Allergy Testing

Children who experience less stress while still infants may be significantly less likely to receive blood tests indicating they have food allergies and other types of intolerances as they grow older, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden said that rates of allergies among children have been increasing at alarming rates during the past couple decades. It has been speculated that a combination of genetic factors and the environment a child faces during early developmental stages may be playing a role in this.

For the study, the team measured levels of cortisol in the mouths of babies shortly after they were born. The results showed that those who had lower levels were significantly less likely to develop allergies two years later.

Still, it remains unclear at what stage of development stress causes the most damage. Delivery can be stressful for a baby, but fetuses can also experience stress in the womb. The researchers said they were planning to continue the study examining the role of stress in infants starting at the neonate stage of development.

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