Nysha Recent News

More Siblings Bugging You, Less Juvenile Arthritis

Siblings growing up in the same house have long been known to bug each other—with brothers and sisters, authorities on microbiology that they are, also known to occasionally declare each other as having “the cooties” or otherwise hopelessly contaminated—of course, until one surrenders that desired toy to the other.

But an Australian study now says that siblings don’t just bug siblings, but give more bugs—and hence, of course, less arthritis—to siblings.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute analysis, published recently in Arthritis and Rheumatology, looked at records on over 1,300 kids—finding that kids with one to three younger siblings by age six had a decreased risk of developing juvenile idiopathic (unknown-cause) arthritis (JIA). 

The study also found—large families, rejoice!—that the more siblings children had, the lesser the risk they had for JIA.

Exposure to germs, not their elimination, has been growing in recent years as a vein of research into asthma, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders—with researchers finding increasing correlation between more microbe exposure and less autoimmune disease.

The “hygiene hypothesis” holds that too-clean an environment gives a developing immune system far less to attack, prompting it to attack the body and resulting in various conditions.

Put in plain English, the more germs, the more exposure and the stronger a growing child’s immune system.

Time to ditch that antibacterial soap?