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Early exposure to cats, dogs and farm animals and the risk of childhood asthma and allergy.

Journal article
Authors Vincent Ojwang'
Bright I Nwaru
Hanna-Mari Takkinen
Minna Kaila
Onni Niemelä
Anna-Maija Haapala
Jorma Ilonen
Jorma Toppari
Heikki Hyöty
Riitta Veijola
Mikael Knip
Suvi M Virtanen
Published in Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume 31
Issue 3
Pages 265-272
ISSN 1399-3038
Publication year 2020
Published at Krefting Research Centre
Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine
Pages 265-272
Language en
Subject categories Health Sciences


Synergistic role of exposure to cats, dogs, and farm animals during infancy on the risk of childhood asthma and allergy remains unknown.To investigate independent and synergistic associations between exposure to indoor pets and farm animals during infancy and the risk of asthma and allergy by age 5.We studied 3781 children participating in the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) nutrition study. At age 5, a validated version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire was administered to collect information on asthma and allergic disease; and exposure to indoor pets and farm animals during the first year of life. Allergen-specific IgE antibodies were analyzed from serum samples. Statistical analyses employed Cox proportional hazards- and logistic regression.Having a dog in the house was inversely associated with the risk of asthma (HR 0.60; 95%CI, 0.38-0.96); allergic rhinitis (OR 0.72; 95%CI, 0.53-0.97); and atopic sensitization (OR 0.77; 95%CI, 0.63-0.96). Having a cat was associated with decreased risk of atopic eczema (OR 0.68; 95%CI, 0.51-0.92). Farm animals were neither independently nor in synergy with indoor pets associated with the outcomes.Having a dog or cat in the house during the first year of life may protect against childhood asthma and allergy. We did not find a synergistic association between cat, dog and farm animal exposure on the risk of childhood asthma and allergy. Future research should identify specific causative exposures conferred by indoor pets and whether they could be recommended for allergy prevention.

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