Scientists found children with allergies to airborne substances were 40 per cent less likely to develop leukaemia than other youngsters while asthma sufferers were 30 per cent less likely to get ovarian cancer than others.
The research was reported in the Daily Mail, which said evidence was growing that putting up with allergies does provide a medical advantage.
Dr Zuber Mulla, an epidemiologist at Texas Tech University, who led the ovarian cancer study, told the newspaper: “More work is still needed, but the numbers show that allergy is a statistically significant protective factor.”
The report said doctors at Cornell University in New York State found children with airborne allergies also had reduced rates of throat, skin, lung and intestinal cancer.
Canadian studies showed that having an allergy or hay fever lowered the chances of getting pancreatic cancer by up to 58 per cent.
Dr Ronald Crystal, chief of pulmonary and critical-care medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Centre, told the newspaper: “Allergies are a general activation of our immune systems. It’s hard to prove, and I’ve heard some scepticism, but it’s a concept in this field and the studies add to that. 2
The research into leukaemia and cancer was carried out at Minnesota University.
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