Why do farm kids have lower rates of asthma?

By: Iris Reyes


Hello! Welcome to the National Farm Medicine Center blog. Our Center has been around since 1981. We have been challenged with “making the culture of safety, work for the culture of agriculture.” This blog is going to highlight exciting news about research, outreach, prevention initiatives and other interesting topics in agriculture.

For our first blog post, I want to tell you about what’s been happening with our Wisconsin Infant Study Cohort (WISC) project. The Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation is collaborating with  the University of Wisconsin at Madison to investigate potential benefits of farm living in preventing allergies and asthma in children. It’s believed that microbes found on animal farms stimulate stronger immune systems! Started in 2013, the WISC project aims to identify just what it is about the farm environment that helps prevent allergies and asthma so that we can offer those benefits to all children regardless of where they live.

We seek to enroll 100 expectant mothers who live on farms and 100 non-farm women throughout Wisconsin. As of today, we have enrolled 76 farm women and 101 nonfarm women and their babies so we are getting there! We hope to reach our enrollment goal this year. While most of the families participating have come from Marshfield and the surrounding area, we’ve enrolled families from eight sites across the state. And even though the study doesn’t end until 2018, data analysis is already underway. So please follow us on social media to stay informed with the latest updates! If you’re interested in participating or would like to learn more, you may contact the WISC study  at 1-888-512-5488.

Last but not the least, if you’re a WISC participant and you’re reading this, I want to THANK YOU for your important contributions to this project. We couldn’t advance our knowledge of respiratory illnesses and the farm environment without you.

That’s it for now. Have a nice day!



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