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The Hygiene Hypothesis first introduced in 1989 by an epidemiologist, Dr Strachan, as he observed an increased prevalence of allergic diseases in society. Further clinical studies and research have included autoimmunity and inflammatory disease under the umbrella of the Hygiene Hypothesis. Article searches were done in the electronic medical database, Pubmed, for articles related to the Hygiene Hypothesis and autoimmunity related to Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) and hygiene hypothesis and childhood asthma. Articles written in the last five years were utilized for the project. The subject group is male and female children ages birth to 18 years old with subject populations throughout the world. Research has shown that the decreased burden on the immune system due to declining family sizes, improved household amenities, higher standards of personal cleanliness, vaccinations and antibiotic use have begun to alter how the immune system responds to pathogenic stimulus as well as nonpathogenic stimulus. These are factors leading to increased autoimmunity and atopy found in children of modern society. Further study is indicated for understanding about what causes some of these conditions in modern societies. This has applications towards antibiotic use, trendy hygiene practices and further understanding of the environmental causes of these and other more common conditions.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Nicole Amsbaugh

Publication Date



Asthma -- immunology; Asthma -- epidemiology; Child; Child, Preschool; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 -- epidemiology; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 -- immunology; Hygiene Hypothesis; Infant


Allergy and Immunology

Does the Hygiene Hypothesis Contribute to Autoimmune and Allergic Disease in Children With Focus on Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Asthma