Poor Kids More Immune to Germs (Nov, 1932)

Sounds like an early version of the hygiene hypothesis

Poor Kids More Immune to Germs

SURPRISING facts about the numbers of Canadian school children who get germ diseases such as measles and scarlet fever were reported to the Canadian Public Health Associations. Contrary to what might have been expected, children from the better districts of the city, a survey disclosed, were found to have had more cases of the germ diseases classed as communicable than children from poorer neighborhoods

5 comments
  1. Charlene says: August 2, 201010:02 am

    At that point, though, it was more likely the result of natural selection. If you were born poor you had to be stronger than average to survive long enough to attend school, the brewing ground of so many epidemics.

    It was also very common among Eastern European immigrant groups in Canada in this time period to not register births or deaths or to take their kids to a real doctor. My mother’s birth certificate was issued when she began school, and only because it was compulsory. If her older brother, who died in infancy, died of infectious disease nobody would have reported it. (And at this point Eastern Europeans made up a large percentage of the population on the Prairies.)

  2. StanFlouride says: August 3, 201012:21 am

    A few minutes after seeing this I came across this article:
    http://news.sciencemag….

  3. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: August 5, 20106:42 pm

    StanFlouride; I’ve seen a lot of “Western {blank} linked to {blank}” in various articles from psychology to medical imaging. I highly suspect that funding has a great deal more to do with that title meme more than good science. I see very little followup articles that confirm the “Western” portion. I do see follow up articles that get more specific than vaguely blaming “Western” life styles. The use of “Western” in linking cause and effect is to grab headlines in traditional news services. The more you get quoted, even in the popular media, the easier it is to garner funding. It’s a lot better to be quoted in reputed journals, but hell, maybe Prince Charles will read it and throw some money the researchers’ way…

  4. hwertz says: August 11, 20105:36 pm

    Well, it’s been found more recently that kids exposure to germs essentially strengthens the immune system. So, these parents that obsessively wash and disinfect surfaces all the time, and keep a spotless house, the kids ends up getting sick more often than ones that live in a somewhat messier house. Of course that measured cleanliness and not income — but if the money is getting short I would assume household cleaners would go before food and drink, and hard working parents may have less time to do the actual cleaning as well.

  5. Rocketeer says: September 3, 20104:43 pm

    Kids who grow up in homes with pets tend to have stronger immune systems.

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