Oct 31, 2011

Good news for families who would like to have a dog or a cat, but are afraid of allergies in children.

Good news for families who would like to have a dog or a cat, but are afraid of allergies in children. Pets has positive effect on children's health, say Australian researchers.

The researchers found that children who had contact with animals at an early age, had lower rates of nasal allergies, as well as adolescents.

"Family pets, especially dogs, should not be removed to prevent allergies, and, in fact, may protect against it" - said Dr. Melanie Matheson ( (University of Melbourne).

After examining almost 8500 adults from Europe and Australia, researchers have focused on subjects who grew up with pets, and patients suffering from nasal allergies.

Communicating with pets already associated with a lower risk of other types of allergies. A study from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 showed that the presence of dogs may reduce the risk of eczema and skin diseases in childhood. Similarly, a study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 2011 found that the presence of pets in children life reduces the risk of developing an allergy to animal hair in half.

In a new study published in the online edition of «Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology» from 13th July, more than one in four respondents complained of nasal allergy, in most cases began in adolescence.

Many factors have been associated with increased risk of nasal allergies in the study. Some, such as family history of allergy and maternal smoking during pregnancy are well documented risk factors.

But the scientists also found that young children who had younger brothers or sisters, or attending nursery and kindergarten, had a lower risk of nasal allergies. And the more relatives of siblings had a child, the lower were the chances that a child will develop nasal allergies later in life.

The researchers also observed a similar association among subjects who grew up on a farm or have had pets before their fifth birthday. Compared with the norms of the people who had no contact with the animals closely in early childhood, the chances of nasal allergy in adolescence were 30% lower in subjects who grew up on a farm, and the presence of a dog or cat was associated with a 15% reduced risk of th nasal allergies.

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