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Raw milk consumption and other early-life farm exposures and adult pulmonary function in the Agricultural Lung Health Study
  1. Annah B Wyss1,
  2. John S House2,3,
  3. Jane A Hoppin4,
  4. Marie Richards5,
  5. John L Hankinson6,
  6. Stuart Long5,
  7. Paul K Henneberger7,
  8. Laura E Beane Freeman8,
  9. Dale P Sandler1,
  10. Elizabeth Long O’Connell9,
  11. Christie Barker Cummings9,
  12. David M Umbach10,
  13. Stephanie J London1,2
  1. 1Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Immunity, Inflammation and Disease Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3Bioinformatics Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  4. 4Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Human Health and the Environment, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5Westat, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  6. 6Hankinson Consulting, Inc., Valdosta, Georgia, USA
  7. 7Respiratory Health Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  8. 8Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  9. 9Epidemiology Center, Public Health Sciences Group, Social & Scientific Systems, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  10. 10Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Stephanie J London, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, PO Box 12233, MD A3-05, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA; london2{at}niehs.nih.gov

Abstract

Literature suggests that early exposure to the farming environment protects against atopy and asthma; few studies have examined pulmonary function. We evaluated associations between early-life farming exposures and pulmonary function in 3061 adults (mean age=63) from a US farming population using linear regression. Childhood raw milk consumption was associated with higher FEV1 (β=49.5 mL, 95% CI 2.8 to 96.1 mL, p=0.04) and FVC (β=66.2 mL, 95% CI 13.2 to 119.1 mL, p=0.01). We did not find appreciable associations with other early-life farming exposures. We report a novel association between raw milk consumption and higher pulmonary function that lasts into older adulthood.

  • COPD epidemiology
  • Asthma Epidemiology
  • Allergic lung disease
  • Occupational Lung Disease
  • Respiratory Measurement

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors meet the ICMJE recommendations for authorship (ie, all authors contributed to the conception/design of the study or the acquisition/analysis/interpretation of the data and assisted in drafting/revising the manuscript, including approving the manuscript for submission).

  • Funding This work was supported by the intramural research program of the NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (Z01-ES049030 and ZO1-ES102385) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) (Z01-CP010119). This work was also supported in part by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds through NIEHS contract number NO1-ES-55546.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval US National Institutes of Health.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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