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Der Allergie vorbeugen: haben Kinder im ersten Lebensjahr Kontakt zu 2 oder mehr Hunden oder Katzen, so vermindert sich das spätere Allergierisiko ganz erheblich.

 


Exposure to Dogs and Cats in the First Year of Life and Risk of Allergic Sensitization at 6 to 7 Years of Age  
 
 
 Dennis R. Ownby, MD; Christine Cole Johnson, PhD; Edward L. Peterson, PhD

 

Context  Childhood asthma is strongly associated with allergic sensitization. Studies have suggested that animal exposure during infancy reduces subsequent allergic sensitization.

Objective  To evaluate the relationship between dog and cat exposure in the first year of life and allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age.

Design, Setting, and Subjects  Prospective birth cohort study of healthy, full-term infants enrolled in a health maintenance organization in suburban Detroit, Mich, who were born between April 15, 1987, and August 31, 1989, and followed up yearly to a mean age of 6.7 years. Of 835 children initially in the study at birth, 474 (57%) completed follow-up evaluations at age 6 to 7 years.

Main Outcome Measures  Atopy, defined as any skin prick test positivity to 6 common aeroallergens (dust mites [Dermatophagoides farinae, D pteronyssinus], dog, cat, short ragweed [Ambrosia artemisiifolia], and blue grass [Poa pratensis]); seroatopy, defined as any positive allergen-specific IgE test result for the same 6 allergens or for Alternaria species.

Results  The prevalence of any skin prick test positivity (atopy) at age 6 to 7 years was 33.6% with no dog or cat exposure in the first year of life, 34.3% with exposure to 1 dog or cat, and 15.4% with exposure to 2 or more dogs or cats (P = .005). The prevalence of any positive allergen-specific IgE test result (seroatopy) was 38.5% with no dog or cat exposure, 41.2% with exposure to 1 dog or cat, and 17.9% with exposure to 2 or more dogs or cats (P = .003). After adjustment for cord serum IgE concentration, sex, older siblings, parental smoking, parental asthma, bedroom dust mite allergen levels at 2 years, and current dog and cat ownership, exposure to 2 or more dogs or cats in the first year of life was associated with a significantly lower risk of atopy (adjusted odds ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.60) and seroatopy (adjusted odds ratio, 0.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.13-0.83).

Conclusion  Exposure to 2 or more dogs or cats in the first year of life may reduce subsequent risk of allergic sensitization to multiple allergens during childhood.

JAMA. 2002;288:963-972

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Author/Article Information
 
 
Author Affiliations: Section of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta (Dr Ownby); Department of Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich (Drs Johnson and Peterson); National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center in Molecular and Cellular Toxicology with Human Applications, Wayne State University, Detroit (Drs Johnson and Peterson).
 
Corresponding Author and Reprints: Dennis R. Ownby, MD, Section of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, BG-1019, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912-3790 (e-mail: downby@mail.mcg.edu).

Author Contributions: Study concept and design: Ownby, Johnson.

Acquisition of data: Ownby, Johnson.

Analysis and interpretation of data: Ownby, Johnson, Peterson.

Drafting of the manuscript: Ownby, Johnson, Peterson.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Ownby, Johnson, Peterson.

Statistical expertise: Peterson.

Obtained funding: Ownby, Johnson.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Ownby, Johnson.

Study supervision: Ownby, Johnson.

Funding/Support: This work was supported by grant AI 24156 from the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, by the Fund for Henry Ford Hospital, and by grant PO3ES06639 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Financial Disclosure: Dr Ownby has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering, Merck, and Aventis.


 

 

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