New paper about nature's impact on human health


A new paper is published in the Clinical & Experimental Allergy where researchers from the Children’s Clinic of Tartu University Hospital and from the UT Department of Botany collaborate to study how the atopic sensitization of Estonian children is dependent on the green area around their home. From our workgroup, Meelis participated in the collaboration. Previously it has been shown that bacteria found in the nature can help to develop human immune system. Now the researchers tested how the type and spatial scale of green area around the home in infancy associates with atopic sensitization up to the age of 9 years in Estonian children. They found that children are less prone to allergies if there are more green spaces around their homes in early development. Among the various types of green area, the impact of forests was largest and increased with spatial scale, but well-supported models often also included grassland and wetland extent. Consequently, it is important to protect natural landscapes since biodiversity can provide direct benefits to human health.

Voor, T., Pärtel, M., Peet, A., Saare, L., Hyöty, H., Knip, M., Davison, J., Zobel, M. and Tillmann, V. 2023. Atopic sensitization in childhood depends on the type of green area around the home in infancy. Clinical & Experimental Allergy doi: 10.1111/cea.14317.