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, Christine Cole Johnson, Edward L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

512 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-972
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Volume288
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2002

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Cats
Dogs
Allergens
Immunoglobulin E
Ambrosia
Mites
Skin Tests
Dust
Asthma
Poa
Odds Ratio
Dermatophagoides farinae
Parturition
Confidence Intervals
Alternaria
Health Maintenance Organizations
Ownership
Poaceae
Siblings
Cohort Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Exposure to dogs and cats in the first year of life and risk of allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age. / Ownby, Dennis R.; Johnson, Christine Cole; Peterson, Edward L.

In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 288, No. 8, 28.08.2002, p. 963-972.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Exposure to dogs and cats in the first year of life and risk of allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age",
abstract = "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.",
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T1 - Exposure to dogs and cats in the first year of life and risk of allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age

AU - Ownby, Dennis R.

AU - Johnson, Christine Cole

AU - Peterson, Edward L.

PY - 2002/8/28

Y1 - 2002/8/28

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

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