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Exposure to furry pets and the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis: a meta-analysis.
Allergy 2008; 63(7):857-64A

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Exposure to pets has been implicated as a risk factor for asthma. However, this relation has been difficult to assess in individual studies because of the large potential of selection bias. We sought to examine the association between exposure to furry pets and asthma and allergic rhinitis by means of a meta-analysis.

METHODS

We retrieved studies published in any language by searching systematically Medline (1966-March 2007), Embase, LILACS and ISI Proceedings computerized databases, and by examining manually the references of the original articles and reviews retrieved. We included cohort and case-control studies reporting relative risk estimates and confidence intervals of exposure to cats, dogs and unspecified furry animals and subsequent asthma and allergic rhinitis. We excluded cross-sectional studies and those studies that did not measure exposure but rather sensitization to pets.

RESULTS

Thirty-two studies were included. For asthma, the pooled relative risk related to dog exposure was 1.14 (95% CI 1.01-1.29), that related to exposure to any furry pet was 1.39 (95% CI 1.00-1.95). Among cohort studies, exposure to cats yielded a relative risk of 0.72 (95% CI 0.55-0.93). For rhinitis, the pooled relative risk of exposure to any furry pet was 0.79 (95% CI 0.68-0.93).

CONCLUSIONS

Exposure to cats exerts a slight preventive effect on asthma, an effect that is more pronounced in cohort studies. On the contrary, exposure to dogs increases slightly the risk of asthma. Exposure to furry pets of undermined type is not conclusive. More studies with exact measurement of exposure are needed to elucidate the role of pet exposures in atopic diseases.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18588551

Citation

Takkouche, B, et al. "Exposure to Furry Pets and the Risk of Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: a Meta-analysis." Allergy, vol. 63, no. 7, 2008, pp. 857-64.
Takkouche B, González-Barcala FJ, Etminan M, et al. Exposure to furry pets and the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis: a meta-analysis. Allergy. 2008;63(7):857-64.
Takkouche, B., González-Barcala, F. J., Etminan, M., & Fitzgerald, M. (2008). Exposure to furry pets and the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis: a meta-analysis. Allergy, 63(7), pp. 857-64. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01732.x.
Takkouche B, et al. Exposure to Furry Pets and the Risk of Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: a Meta-analysis. Allergy. 2008;63(7):857-64. PubMed PMID: 18588551.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Exposure to furry pets and the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis: a meta-analysis. AU - Takkouche,B, AU - González-Barcala,F-J, AU - Etminan,M, AU - Fitzgerald,M, PY - 2008/7/1/pubmed PY - 2008/7/31/medline PY - 2008/7/1/entrez SP - 857 EP - 64 JF - Allergy JO - Allergy VL - 63 IS - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND: Exposure to pets has been implicated as a risk factor for asthma. However, this relation has been difficult to assess in individual studies because of the large potential of selection bias. We sought to examine the association between exposure to furry pets and asthma and allergic rhinitis by means of a meta-analysis. METHODS: We retrieved studies published in any language by searching systematically Medline (1966-March 2007), Embase, LILACS and ISI Proceedings computerized databases, and by examining manually the references of the original articles and reviews retrieved. We included cohort and case-control studies reporting relative risk estimates and confidence intervals of exposure to cats, dogs and unspecified furry animals and subsequent asthma and allergic rhinitis. We excluded cross-sectional studies and those studies that did not measure exposure but rather sensitization to pets. RESULTS: Thirty-two studies were included. For asthma, the pooled relative risk related to dog exposure was 1.14 (95% CI 1.01-1.29), that related to exposure to any furry pet was 1.39 (95% CI 1.00-1.95). Among cohort studies, exposure to cats yielded a relative risk of 0.72 (95% CI 0.55-0.93). For rhinitis, the pooled relative risk of exposure to any furry pet was 0.79 (95% CI 0.68-0.93). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to cats exerts a slight preventive effect on asthma, an effect that is more pronounced in cohort studies. On the contrary, exposure to dogs increases slightly the risk of asthma. Exposure to furry pets of undermined type is not conclusive. More studies with exact measurement of exposure are needed to elucidate the role of pet exposures in atopic diseases. SN - 1398-9995 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18588551/Exposure_to_furry_pets_and_the_risk_of_asthma_and_allergic_rhinitis:_a_meta_analysis_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01732.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -