News & Perspectives

Allergy-Fighting Pets (Sweden)

Infants exposed to household pets may be less likely to develop asthma or other allergies later in childhood, conclude researchers at Sweden's Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Only 3.3% of children who shared their homes with a cat or dog during their first year of life developed asthma by age 12 or 13 compared with 8.5% of those not exposed to pets.

The investigators believe a "desensitizing" mechanism may lower the children's risk for acquiring allergies later on in life (Clinical and Experimental Allergy, May 1999).

Date Published: 03/19/2002
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