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Does pet ownership in infancy lead to asthma or allergy at school age? Pooled analysis of individual participant data from 11 European birth cohorts.

Title: Does pet ownership in infancy lead to asthma or allergy at school age? Pooled analysis of individual participant data from 11 European birth cohorts.
Authors: Lødrup Carlsen, KC
Roll, S
Carlsen, KH
Mowinckel, P
Wijga, AH
Brunekreef, B
Torrent, M
Roberts, G
Arshad, SH
Kull, I
Krämer, U
Von Berg, A
Eller, E
Høst, A
Kuehni, C
Spycher, B
Sunyer, J
Chen, CM
Reich, A
Asarnoj, A
Puig, C
Herbarth, O
Mahachie John, JM
Van Steen, K
Willich, SN
Wahn, U
Lau, S
Keil, T
GALEN WP 1.5 ‘Birth Cohorts’ working group
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Objective: To examine the associations between pet keeping in early childhood and asthma and allergies in children aged 6-10 years. Design: Pooled analysis of individual participant data of 11 prospective European birth cohorts that recruited a total of over 22,000 children in the 1990s. Exposure definition: Ownership of only cats, dogs, birds, rodents, or cats/dogs combined during the first 2 years of life. Outcome definition: Current asthma (primary outcome), allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic sensitization during 6-10 years of age. Data synthesis: Three-step approach: (i) Common definition of outcome and exposure variables across cohorts; (ii) calculation of adjusted effect estimates for each cohort; (iii) pooling of effect estimates by using random effects meta-analysis models. Results: We found no association between furry and feathered pet keeping early in life and asthma in school age. For example, the odds ratio for asthma comparing cat ownership with no pets (10 studies, 11489 participants) was 1.00 (95% confidence interval 0.78 to 1.28) (I2 = 9%; p = 0.36). The odds ratio for asthma comparing dog ownership with no pets (9 studies, 11433 participants) was 0.77 (0.58 to 1.03) (I2 = 0%, p = 0.89). Owning both cat(s) and dog(s) compared to no pets resulted in an odds ratio of 1.04 (0.59 to 1.84) (I2 = 33%, p = 0.18). Similarly, for allergic asthma and for allergic rhinitis we did not find associations regarding any type of pet ownership early in life. However, we found some evidence for an association between ownership of furry pets during the first 2 years of life and reduced likelihood of becoming sensitized to aero-allergens. Conclusions: Pet ownership in early life did not appear to either increase or reduce the risk of asthma or allergic rhinitis symptoms in children aged 6-10. Advice from health care practitioners to avoid or to specifically acquire pets for primary prevention of asthma or allergic rhinitis in children should not be given. © 2012 Lødrup Carlsen et al.
Issue Date: 29-Aug-2012
Date of Acceptance: 20-Jul-2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/28768
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0043214
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Journal / Book Title: PLOS One
Volume: 7
Issue: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2012 Lødrup Carlsen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Allergens
Animals
Asthma
Birds
Cats
Child
Child, Preschool
Cohort Studies
Dogs
Female
Humans
Hypersensitivity
Infant
Infant, Newborn
Male
Odds Ratio
Pets
Risk
Rodentia
GALEN WP 1.5 ‘Birth Cohorts’ working group
General Science & Technology
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: e43214
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine (up to 2019)