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Dog characteristics and future risk of asthma in children growing up with dogs
Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular epidemiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-5866
Karolinska Inst, Dept Med Epidemiol & Biostat, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Inst, Dept Med Epidemiol & Biostat, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Inst, Dept Med Epidemiol & Biostat, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 16899Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is observational evidence that children exposed to dogs in early life are at lower risk of asthma. It is unknown whether this association is modified by dog characteristics such as sex, breed, number of dogs, and dog size. The aim of this study was to determine whether different dog characteristics modify the risk of asthma among children exposed to dogs during their first year of life. In the main analysis, we used national register data for all children born in Sweden from Jan 1st 2001 to Dec 31st 2004 with a registered dog in the household during their first year of life (n = 23,585). We used logistic regression models to study the association between dog characteristics and the risk of asthma or allergy diagnosis and medication at age six. The prevalence of asthma at age six was 5.4%. Children exposed to female dogs had lower risk of asthma compared to those exposed to male dogs, odds ratio, OR= 0.84 (95% confidence interval, CI 0.74 to 0.95). Children with two dogs or more had lower risk of asthma than those with one dog only, OR= 0.79 (95%Cl 0.65 to 0.95). Children whose parents had asthma and allergy had a higher frequency of exposure to dog breeds anecdotally described as "hypoallergenic" compared to those parents without asthma or allergy (11.7% vs 7.6%, p < 0.001). Exposure to these breeds were associated with higher risk of allergy OR= 1.27 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.59) but not asthma. In conclusion, we found evidence of an association between the sex of dog and the number of dogs with a lower risk of childhood asthma in dog-exposed children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2018. Vol. 8, article id 16899
National Category
Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371876DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35245-2ISI: 000450167700070PubMedID: 30442962OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371876DiVA, id: diva2:1274901
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-03477Swedish Research Council Formas, 2013-1673Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015-00289Available from: 2019-01-03 Created: 2019-01-03 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved

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