Pet-keeping in early life reduces the risk of allergy in a dose-dependent fashion
A manutenção do animal de estimação no início da vida reduz o risco de alergia de forma dependente de doses
Bill Hesselmar, Anna Hicke-Roberts, Anna-Carin Lundell, Ingegerd Adlerberth, Anna Rudin, Robert Saalman, Göran Wennergren,e Agnes E. faria.
Several studies have indicated that early pet keeping could protect the infant from later allergy development. Here, we investigate if there is a dose-dependent association between cat- and dog-keeping during the first year of life and subsequent allergy development.
Two cohorts were investigated: a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of 7- to 8-yearold children (N = 1029) from Mo¨lndal and Kiruna, and a birth-cohort of children from the
Va¨stra Go¨taland county clinically evaluated for asthma and allergy by paediatricians up to
the age of 8–9 years (N = 249). The cross-sectional study asked validated questions on
asthma and allergy that had been used in two previous studies of children from the
same areas. In the birth-cohort study, a diagnosis of asthma and allergy was based on predefined clinical criteria, and laboratory evaluation included blood eosinophils, skin-prick
tests and specific immunoglobulin E analyses. Information on pets during first year of life
was collected retrospectively in the Cross-Sectional Cohort and prospectively in the Birth
A dose-response association was seen, with less allergic manifestations (any of asthma,
allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, or eczema) with increasing number of household cats and dogs
during the first year of life. In the Cross-Sectional Cohort, allergy ever decreased from 49%
in those with no pets to zero in those with five or more pets (P-value for trend 0.038), and
from 32% to zero for allergy last year (P-value for trend 0.006). The same pattern was seen
in Birth Cohort. Sensitization to animals, as well as pollens, also decreased with increasing
number of animals in the household.
allergic, dog, cat, early pet keeping, prevention
alérgico, cão, gato, manutenção precoce de animais de estimação, prevenção