Cats and dogs and the risk of atopy in childhood and adulthood

Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 09/2009; 124(4):745-50.e4. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.06.038
Source: PubMed


Exposure to cats and dogs during childhood has been linked to a lower risk of developing allergies. It remains unclear whether this is due to selective avoidance of pets by families with a history of allergies. The effects of pet ownership in adulthood are unknown.
We sought to assess the association between cat and dog ownership in childhood and early adulthood and the development of atopy in a population-based birth cohort of 1037 subjects.
Ownership of cats or dogs between birth and age 9 years and between the ages of 18 and 32 years was reported. Skin prick tests to common allergens were performed at 13 and 32 years.
There was no evidence that families with a history of atopy avoided owning pets. There were significant cat-by-dog interactions for the development of atopy in both childhood and adulthood. Children who had owned both a cat and a dog were less likely to be atopic at age 13 years. Living with only one of these animals was not protective against atopy. Among those who were not atopic by age 13 years, having both a cat and a dog in adulthood was associated with a lower risk of new atopy by age 32 years. This association was only significant among those with a parental history of atopy. These effects were independent of a range of potential confounding factors.
There is a synergistic interaction between cat and dog exposure that is associated with a lower risk of developing atopy in childhood and young adulthood.

15 Reads
  • Source
    • "Several studies among children have found that having pets at home is associated with a reduced risk of sensitization [7,28]. In this study, having had pets at home in childhood was negatively associated with an elevated level of specific IgE to pets. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Studies on time trends of allergic sensitization among adults are rare. The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of allergic sensitization to common airborne allergens among adults 15 years apart and to identify risk factors for allergic sensitization. Methods Clinical examinations including skin prick test (SPT) and structured interviews were performed in two random population samples in 1994 and 2009. Furthermore, specific IgE was analyzed in 2009. SPT data were available for 483 subjects in 1994 and for 463 subjects in 2009 in ages 20–60 years. Specific IgE was analyzed in 692 subjects in ages 20–79 years. Results Sensitization to cat (16% to 26%, p < 0.001), dog (13% to 25%, p < 0.001), birch (13% to 18%, p = 0.031) and timothy (12% to 21%, p < 0.001), based on SPT, increased significantly from 1994 to 2009. Sensitization to any positive SPT increased from 35% to 39%, p = 0.13.The proportion of having ≥3 positive SPT reactions increased from 40% to 56%, p = 0.002. The sensitization pattern yielded similar results based on specific IgE. Risk factors for allergic sensitization were having a family history of allergy (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.0-4.8 for any positive SPT; OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.8-4.0 for any elevated IgE) and urban living (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-2.7; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.4). Conclusions The prevalence of allergic sensitization to major airborne allergens as well as multi-sensitization increased significantly between the study years. Young age, a family history of allergy and urban living were significant risk factors for allergic sensitization.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Allergen sensitization is the first step in the onset of allergic diseases. Sensitizing sources may vary among geographic region but identification is needed to develop effective treatment as specific avoidance measures and immunotherapy. To determine the prevalence of sensitization to several sources of aeroallergens by prick skin tests, in a group of patients with rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma or atopic dermatitis in a tropical city. We reviewed the medical records of patients and their results of skin prick tests with aeroallergens, including Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farina, during the period of January 2008 to December 2011. Three hundred allergic patients with sensitization to 30 different allergens were included. House dust mites (78%), dog dander (47%) and cockroach (21.5%) were the most frequent positive allergens. We observed a significative sensitization pattern with house dust mites, dog dander, molds and piggeon droppings, associated with systemic allergic sensitization. As we expect, mites are the main source of sensitization in Medellin. However, other sources common in other regions such as the pollen grains are rare. The identification of the sources could help to predict in young children allergic phenotypes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Alergia
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A description is given of a major US Air Force (USAF) command and control system prototype for deployed forces as a collateral effort to program development for a $100M project pursued through multiple phases of prototyping and other technical and business strategies. The discussion covers prototyping experience, lessons learned, methods, criteria for desirable CASE tool support, and an innovative graphical design model, OSD, which integrates the team design effort. The focus is on technical methods
    No preview · Conference Paper · Feb 1989
Show more