Campus & Community

Day-care exposure may reduce Hodgkin’s disease incidence

1 min read
Ellen Chang has shown that day-care attendance seems to provide protection from Hodgkin’s disease. (Staff photo Justin Ide/Harvard News Office)

Young adults who attended day care or nursery school when they were children were more than a third less likely to develop Hodgkin’s disease, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Ellen Chang, a postdoctoral fellow and a researcher in the School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, said the reduced risk is likely because kids in day care are exposed to many common bacterial and viral infections through contact with other children.

Chang said early infections can function to “prime” a still-developing part of the immune system responsible for defense against bacterial and viral invasion.

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