Migration related to allergic diseases between ethnic groups in the Netherlands

August 04, 2022

2 minutes read


Disclosure: Amoah does not report any relevant financial disclosures. The relevant financial information of all other authors can be found in the study.

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According to a letter published in Intercontinental migration showed a positive association with allergies in adults from ethnic groups living in Amsterdam, Netherlands compared to participants of Dutch origin allergy.

Abena S Amoah, B.A, MSc, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health, Faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined data from the population-based study, Healthy Living in an Urban Environment.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Source: Adobe Stock

The analysis included 21,850 Dutch (n = 4,564; 20.9%), Surinamese (n = 7,427; 34%), Turks (n = 3,614; 16.6%), Moroccans (n ​​= 3,906; 17.9%) and Ghanaian (n=2,339; 10.7%) Origin. In addition, 13,451 (61.6%) of these individuals represented the first generation of these ethnic groups and 3,835 (17.6%) represented the second generation.

Overall, 22.7% of participants reported nasal allergy, with significantly higher rates in the first-generation (22.1%) and second-generation (27.1%) groups compared to the Dutch ancestry group (20.5%). ).

Similarly, 10.5% of the general population reported asthma, including rates of 10.1% in the first-generation group and 14.2% in the second-generation group, which the researchers said was significantly higher than the 8.6 rate % for participants of Dutch origin.

Compared to the first-generation group, the second-generation group seemed significantly more likely to have nasal allergy (adjusted OR [aOR] = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.31), asthma (aOR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.54-2.15) and eczema (aOR = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.06- 1.54) in the past 12 months but no food allergy (aOR = 1.22; 95% CI, 0.99-1.51) or chronic rhinosinusitis (aOR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.69- 1.12).

The first generation also experienced an inverse association between increasing age at the time of migration and nasal allergy (aOR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99) and asthma (aOR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99).

But the researchers found no association between increasing age at the time of migration and atopic eczema (aOR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-1), food allergy (aOR = 1; 95% CI, 0.99-1.02 ) or chronic rhinosinusitis (aOR = 1; 95% CI, 0.99-1.01).

Prolonged stay in the Netherlands appeared to be significantly associated with nasal allergy (aOR = 1.01; 95% CI, 1-1.02) and asthma (aOR = 1.01; 95% CI, 1-1.02). , with a borderline association with eczema (aOR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.99-1.02).

However, there was no significant association between longer length of stay and food allergy (aOR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-1.01) or chronic rhinosinusitis (aOR = 1; 95% CI, 0.99-1.01) .

The researchers said their findings were consistent with previous studies showing a higher allergy burden in those born to foreign-born parents compared to guest populations and first-generation individuals.

These results may also indicate that older immigrants may have had greater exposure to protective factors in their countries of origin before migrating. Studies of the epigenomic profiles of migrant and host populations could reveal the mechanics of these disease risks, the researchers wrote.

The researchers also recommended further studies on other major ethnic groups in the Netherlands, including people of Indonesian, German or Polish ethnicity, and studies on changes in the epigenome, microbiome, systemic inflammation and other underlying mechanisms.

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