(Conflicting Studies Found) Study links dogs, not cats, to kids' asthma risk

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Created on November 16 2015 at 10: 33 PM

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(Reuters Health) - For children at higher-than-average risk of asthma, having a dog around the house may increase the chances of developing the lung disease, a new study suggests. The study, which followed 380 children at increased risk of asthma due to family history, found that those exposed to relatively high levels of dog allergen at the age of 7 were more likely to have asthma. In contrast, there was no relationship between cat-allergen exposure and a child's risk of asthma, according to findings published in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. Exactly why dogs were related to a higher risk of asthma, while cats were not, is not entirely clear. But one factor may be endotoxin, a substance produced by bacteria that is known to trigger inflammation in the airways, explained lead researcher Dr. Chris Carlsten, of Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada. Carlsten and his colleagues found that children exposed to dog allergen at home were not at increased risk of developing an immune-system sensitization to dog allergen itself. Therefore, greater exposure to endotoxin may at least partly explain the association between having a dog in the home and a child's risk of asthma. "Dogs tend to have a lot of endotoxin on them, because they're dogs," Carlsten told Reuters Health. In contrast, cats have much less, he said. So should families with a history of asthma or allergies opt for a kitten over a p...

Read the full article at the source website: http://www.reuters.com/


Compared with Evidence on Parenting-Checkpoint.com: Summary

For children who are not sensitive to dog allergens in their early years, dog ownership can protect against asthma. Early exposure to dogs also reduces the odds of being sensitive to fur or airborne allergens.

This viral article is NOT supported by the following studies on Parenting-Checkpoint.com

Impacts of Dogs on Childhood Allergy and Asthma: What Research Reveals

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