Immigrant kids have fewer allergies.

Healthline doesn’t seem to be jumping to any conclusions here… just remarking that if you’re American-born, you’re more likely to have allergies than if you’re one of the hardy souls born elsewhere who then moves to America:

Foreign-born U.S. children have lower odds of developing allergic diseases like asthma and food allergies than children born in the U.S., according to a new study.

However, researchers from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City say that the allergy protection dissipates after a decade of living in the U.S. They assessed the health of almost 80,000 children in the 2007-2008 National Survey of Children’s Health.

The study, released today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, also states that children born outside the U.S. with both parents born abroad had even significantly lower odds than those with parents born in the U.S.

This does dovetail nicely with the Hygiene Hypothesis – the idea that America’s germ-phobia (pass the hand sanitizer!) is making Americans weaker, at least as far as immunity goes:

About 8.9 percent of U.S. children have asthma and 10.6 percent have allergic eczema. The rates in countries like Mexico and China are much lower, researchers say.

Researchers said, based off their previous research, that certain infections and exposures at a young age can help guide a person’s immune system away from a “pro-allergic” state and decrease one’s risk for asthma and allergic eczema.

On the other hand, maybe we just have more allergy-triggering stuff here in the States:

The St. Luke’s study states their findings are consistent with the hygiene hypothesis, but as the odds of developing allergies dramatically increase after foreign-born children have lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, the protection may not be life-long. Researchers hypothesize that exposure to allergens and other environmental factors in the U.S. may trigger allergic diseases later in life.