Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

Anthroposophic lifestyle and salivary cortisol are associated with a lower risk of sensitization during childhood.

PMID 25620268


Infants from anthroposophic families have low cortisol levels and low risk of IgE-sensitization during first 2xa0years of life. Our aim was to study the impact of an anthroposophic lifestyle and cortisol levels at 6xa0months on allergy sensitization up to age 5xa0years. A total of 507 families participated from maternal healthcare centers. Parental lifestyle was categorized as anthroposophic, partly anthroposophic, or non-anthroposophic. Blood samples for analyzes of sensitization were obtained from parents at inclusion and from children at 6, 12, 24, and 60xa0months. Salivary samples were collected at home at 6xa0months. Sensitization increased from 2.9% to 26.0% in the anthroposophic group, from 8.4% to 26.8% in the partly anthroposophic group, and from 19.1% to 44.1% in the non-anthroposophic group. Children from anthroposophic families had lower cortisol levels in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The odds ratio (OR) for anthroposophic lifestyle was always <1 and lowest at 12xa0months (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.03-0.36). Adjusting for cortisol levels at 6 months increased these ORs at 12 and 24xa0months. At the same ages, ORs for sensitization were elevated also for cortisol levels at 6xa0months. Analyzes in children not sensitized at 6xa0months confirmed the cortisol-related risk of sensitization. Children from families with an anthroposophic lifestyle have lower risk than comparisons of developing sensitization up to 5xa0years. This risk is partially explained by low cortisol levels during infancy. High cortisol levels at 6xa0months predict sensitization up to 24xa0months.