Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race: Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease

Jerel M. Ezell, Andrea E. Cassidy-Bushrow, Suzanne Havstad, Christine L.M. Joseph, Ganesa Wegienka, Kyra Jones, Dennis Randall Ownby, Christine Cole Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: There is consistent evidence demonstrating that pet-keeping, particularly of dogs, is beneficial to human health. We explored relationships between maternal race and prenatal dog-keeping, accounting for measures of socioeconomic status that could affect the choice of owning a pet, in a demographically diverse, unselected birth cohort. Design: Self-reported data on mothers' race, socioeconomic characteristics and dog-keeping practices were obtained during prenatal interviews and analyzed cross-sectionally. Robust methods of covariate balancing via propensity score analysis were utilized to examine if race (Black vs White), independent of other participant traits, influenced prenatal dog-keeping. Setting: A birth cohort study conducted in a health care system in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan between September 2003 and November 2007. Participants: 1065 pregnant women (n=775 or 72.8% Black), between ages 21 and 45, receiving prenatal care. Main Outcome Measures: Participant's self-report of race/ethnicity and prenatal dog-keeping, which was defined as her owning or caring for ≥1 dog for more than 1 week at her home since learning of her pregnancy, regardless of whether the dog was kept inside or outside of her home. Results: In total, 294 women (27.6%) reported prenatal dog-keeping. Prenatal dog-keeping was significantly lower among Black women as compared to White women (20.9% vs 45.5%, P<.001), and remained significantly different even after propensity score analysis was applied. Conclusion: Findings suggest that there are persistent racial differences in dog-keeping not fully explained by measures of socioeconomic status. Racial differences in prenatal dog-keeping may contribute to childhood health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume24
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Fingerprint

Dogs
Health
Propensity Score
Pets
Social Class
Mothers
Parturition
Prenatal Care
Self Report
Pregnant Women
Cohort Studies
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Learning
Interviews
Delivery of Health Care
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Dogs
  • Human-animal bond
  • Pet-keeping
  • Racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Ezell, J. M., Cassidy-Bushrow, A. E., Havstad, S., Joseph, C. L. M., Wegienka, G., Jones, K., ... Johnson, C. C. (2014). Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race: Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease. Ethnicity and Disease, 24(1), 104-109.

Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race : Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease. / Ezell, Jerel M.; Cassidy-Bushrow, Andrea E.; Havstad, Suzanne; Joseph, Christine L.M.; Wegienka, Ganesa; Jones, Kyra; Ownby, Dennis Randall; Johnson, Christine Cole.

In: Ethnicity and Disease, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.12.2014, p. 104-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ezell, JM, Cassidy-Bushrow, AE, Havstad, S, Joseph, CLM, Wegienka, G, Jones, K, Ownby, DR & Johnson, CC 2014, 'Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race: Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease', Ethnicity and Disease, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 104-109.
Ezell JM, Cassidy-Bushrow AE, Havstad S, Joseph CLM, Wegienka G, Jones K et al. Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race: Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease. Ethnicity and Disease. 2014 Dec 1;24(1):104-109.
Ezell, Jerel M. ; Cassidy-Bushrow, Andrea E. ; Havstad, Suzanne ; Joseph, Christine L.M. ; Wegienka, Ganesa ; Jones, Kyra ; Ownby, Dennis Randall ; Johnson, Christine Cole. / Prenatal dog-keeping practices vary by race : Speculations on implications for disparities in childhood health and disease. In: Ethnicity and Disease. 2014 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 104-109.
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abstract = "Objective: There is consistent evidence demonstrating that pet-keeping, particularly of dogs, is beneficial to human health. We explored relationships between maternal race and prenatal dog-keeping, accounting for measures of socioeconomic status that could affect the choice of owning a pet, in a demographically diverse, unselected birth cohort. Design: Self-reported data on mothers' race, socioeconomic characteristics and dog-keeping practices were obtained during prenatal interviews and analyzed cross-sectionally. Robust methods of covariate balancing via propensity score analysis were utilized to examine if race (Black vs White), independent of other participant traits, influenced prenatal dog-keeping. Setting: A birth cohort study conducted in a health care system in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan between September 2003 and November 2007. Participants: 1065 pregnant women (n=775 or 72.8{\%} Black), between ages 21 and 45, receiving prenatal care. Main Outcome Measures: Participant's self-report of race/ethnicity and prenatal dog-keeping, which was defined as her owning or caring for ≥1 dog for more than 1 week at her home since learning of her pregnancy, regardless of whether the dog was kept inside or outside of her home. Results: In total, 294 women (27.6{\%}) reported prenatal dog-keeping. Prenatal dog-keeping was significantly lower among Black women as compared to White women (20.9{\%} vs 45.5{\%}, P<.001), and remained significantly different even after propensity score analysis was applied. Conclusion: Findings suggest that there are persistent racial differences in dog-keeping not fully explained by measures of socioeconomic status. Racial differences in prenatal dog-keeping may contribute to childhood health disparities.",
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