This study aims to find out the relationship between pet keeping in childhood and asthma and allergy among children aged 0–8 years old in Tianjin, China. Parental or guardians reports of 7360 children were analyzed. 1490 (21.6%) families kept pets at the time of the survey (current), among them 4.0% cats, and 14.7% dogs. For the first year of life of children (early), 1196 (18.4%) families kept pets, and among them 3.2% cats, and 13.7% dogs. Exposure to a pet in early childhood significantly increased the risk of current wheeze, current dry cough, and diagnosed rhinitis. 17.9% of parents reported an avoidance behavior, i.e., had removed or refrained a pet due to asthma or allergy in the family. After adjustment for avoidance behavior, the negative effect of pet keeping on children’s health became even more obvious, with e.g. an AOR of 3.37 (1.58–7.19) for diagnosed asthma, 3.60 (2.07–6.27) for diagnosed rhinitis, 1.92 (1.31–2.81) for diagnosed eczema. A dose-response relationship between pet keeping at current and current wheeze, current eczema and diagnosed eczema was found. In conclusion, pet exposure in early life of children in Tianjin is a risk factor for asthma and allergies among children aged 0–8 years old.
|Publication Title||PLoS ONE|
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