Raw milk consumption and other early-life farm exposures and adult pulmonary function in the Agricultural Lung Health Study

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Abstract

Literature suggests that early exposure to the farming environment protects against atopy and asthma; few studies have examined pulmonary function. We evaluated associations between early-life farming exposures and pulmonary function in 3061 adults (mean age=63) from a US farming population using linear regression. Childhood raw milk consumption was associated with higher FEV1 (β=49.5 mL, 95% CI 2.8 to 96.1 mL, p=0.04) and FVC (β=66.2 mL, 95% CI 13.2 to 119.1 mL, p=0.01). We did not find appreciable associations with other early-life farming exposures. We report a novel association between raw milk consumption and higher pulmonary function that lasts into older adulthood.

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