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Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs
Science Daily ^ | 12-4-2006

Posted on 12/04/2006 5:55:38 PM PST by blam

Infants Wheeze Less In Homes With Multiple Dogs

Living in a home with multiple dogs may help reduce an infant’s risk for developing wheezing in the first year of life, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).

Having multiple dogs in the home early in life may help prevent future allergy development in certain kids. (Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)

Cincinnati researchers, led by David Bernstein, MD, have found that infants living in homes with high levels of endotoxins (bacterial contaminants) and multiple dogs were more than two times less likely to wheeze than other infants.

They found that wheezing was not associated independently with either dog or cat ownership or high levels of indoor endotoxins; however, high endotoxin exposures in homes that also had multiple dogs resulted in less wheezing.

“Our research presents evidence that pet ownership offers a protective effect against development of lower respiratory symptoms in young children,” adds Bernstein.

The UC-led team’s findings conflict with earlier studies suggesting exposure to high endotoxin levels or pet ownership can protect against an increased risk for future allergic diseases, the UC team reports in the December edition of theJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“Exposure to high endotoxin levels in the home may not be an important determinant of aeroallergen sensitization during infancy,” explains Bernstein, professor of immunology and senior author for the study. “We do not yet understand how and why exposure to high levels of bacterial endotoxin and multiple dogs in the home exert a protective effect in these high-risk infants from wheezing early in life.”

Endotoxins are natural compounds secreted from pathogens (disease-causing agents) like bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines and feces. Scientists believe that endotoxins can stimulate our immune systems in many different ways.

“Our bodies are programmed to produce allergic responses early in life,” Bernstein explains, “but there are environmental factors like bacterial endotoxins that may modify the immune system and block development of allergies early in life.”

The UC-led team analyzed the effects of pet ownership (cats and dogs) and endotoxin exposure in 520 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) who were identified as being at greater risk for developing allergies because at least one parent had known allergies.

The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.

Researchers collected dust samples from the infants’ homes to measure endotoxin levels. They also determined the number of siblings and gathered information about the home, including the presence of mold and second-hand smoke. Environmental and food allergy development was monitored through annual skin prick tests.

Previous studies have addressed the role of pet ownership in childhood allergy development; however, findings have been inconsistent, according to Bernstein. Until now, it was unclear whether animal ownership, endotoxin exposure or a combination of the two resulted in wheezing. Bernstein says further research is needed to determine if these early protective effects have long-term benefits.

Collaborators in this study include Manuel Villareal, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC colleagues Paloma Campo, MD, Hapinder Kalra, MD, Linda Levin, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Rolanda Olds, Zana Lummus, PhD, Seung-Hyun Cho, PhD, Gurjit Hershey, MD, PhD, James Lockey, MD, Sherry Stanforth and Grace LeMasters, PhD, principal investigator of the CCAAPS.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allergies; dogs; health; infants; wheeze

1 posted on 12/04/2006 5:55:39 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

I wonder whose idea this study was.


2 posted on 12/04/2006 5:57:37 PM PST by TeenagedConservative
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To: Cailleach

ping


3 posted on 12/04/2006 5:58:43 PM PST by kalee (II have taken the pledge... I will no longer read homeschooling or breastfeeding threads on FR.)
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To: TeenagedConservative
I wonder whose idea this study was.

OURS!

4 posted on 12/04/2006 5:59:28 PM PST by Hildy ("Death plucks my ear and says - LIVE - I am coming.....")
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To: blam

Dogs are good for you in more ways than one.


5 posted on 12/04/2006 6:02:25 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (The Internet is the samizdat of liberty..)
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To: blam

Dog licks butt. Dog licks kid's face. Good for both!


6 posted on 12/04/2006 6:04:10 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: blam

Well, we have multiple dogs, often six in the house. And we have multiple kids & grandkids. It's gratifying to think we are benefitting their good health as well as everyone's entertainment.


7 posted on 12/04/2006 6:04:53 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: blam

Then kids in my home would be extra allergy free.


8 posted on 12/04/2006 6:05:50 PM PST by freekitty
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To: blam

Any kids in my house will be thoroughly protected.


9 posted on 12/04/2006 6:17:21 PM PST by Sender ("Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything." -Mark Twain)
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To: TeenagedConservative
I wonder whose idea this study was.

For all I know, this study may be legit.
Our Polio epidemic is generally acknowledged to have been a
"disease of cleanliness"; people got it because their immune systems
hadn't been challenged due to new advances in public sanitation.

And some have posited that the post-Columbian diseases of New
World Indians was partly due to less immunity because they
hadn't had the immune challenges that Europeans had with all
their barnyard animals. (I think writer/doctor Jared Diamond mentions this).

Myself, I can't help but wonder if John Stossel's take on THE factor
in American healthcare isn't operative here.
People with financial resources are generally healthier; poor people
have poorer health.

Maybe people that can afford multiple dogs and children are
financially able to get better health care and nutrition.
Maybe even more travel to distant locations/people that provide
more protective immune responses.
I'd also like to see the "Freakonomics" guy take on this study too.
10 posted on 12/04/2006 6:21:28 PM PST by VOA
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To: Right Wing Assault

Yes thats what I was thinking too. Along with kid eating/drinking from dogs dish. If you have dogs it will happen at least once with each child guarenteed.

I guess the upshot is kids that aren't raised in clinically sterile environments do better in the real world ?


11 posted on 12/04/2006 6:23:49 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: festus

My son would drink from the dogs' dish, eat their (dry) IAMS food, and crawl in and out of the doggie door. For a while there I wasn't sure exactly which species he was.


12 posted on 12/04/2006 6:34:21 PM PST by ChocChipCookie (Homeschool like your kids' lives depend on it.)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Actually, pugs cannot lick their own butts. Therefor we have a pug. :o)


13 posted on 12/04/2006 6:36:21 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If a pug barks and no one is around to hear it... they hold a grudge for a long time!)
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To: blam

Those kids have never been around my pug when she farts. I wheeze and gag.


14 posted on 12/04/2006 6:37:55 PM PST by manic4organic
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To: blam
Go to this rag and put guns in their search block and review their work. Then post how creditable they are. Just a bunch of crack pot liberals in my view.
15 posted on 12/04/2006 6:38:58 PM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: festus

Guess what? I think you're 100% right! I think we Americans are way too obsessed with "germ-free" everything and "bacteria-killing" products. How the heck are we supposed to develop healthy immune systems?
I betcha that if I dare go visit Guatemala (where I came from) I will get a severe case of the runs if I dare drink the water or eat something right there on the street... neither of those was an issue nine years ago, when I lived there!
On the other hand... I would not change living in this God-blessed country for anything in the world!


16 posted on 12/04/2006 6:42:37 PM PST by republican4ever (Israel's fate determines the fate of the world, whether we believe and like it or not.)
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To: festus
I guess the upshot is kids that aren't raised in clinically sterile
environments do better in the real world ?


While I suspect MDs are loath to say that aloud for fear of
some folks that would see it as a green-light to ditch clean living...
I think that's generally true.

I'm not an MD, but the general feel I get is that there's a two
double-edged sword here.
It's good to get immune challenges from the environment
(including Fido)...at the same time you have to endure the possibility
of something nasty jumping from your pet (or duck/pig) and you
get a virus/bacteria that can be dangerous/lethal.
17 posted on 12/04/2006 6:44:08 PM PST by VOA
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To: blam

Anyone want to borrow one of my four canines? Guilt free pet ownership is a good thing. ;) Never tried the idea on our kids...we didn't have any.


18 posted on 12/04/2006 6:44:25 PM PST by madison10 (There is no trial without God's blessing.)
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To: festus

By the way.. my kids grew up with dogs around them since they were born (I had an Irish Setter who would "hide" in my oldest's son crib -kid in crib, too- whenever there was a blackout or loud noise). Those kids never get sick... a cold here and there and that's it. They are now all healthy adults.


19 posted on 12/04/2006 6:47:30 PM PST by republican4ever (Israel's fate determines the fate of the world, whether we believe and like it or not.)
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To: org.whodat
crack pot liberals

Do liberals approve of dogs?

20 posted on 12/04/2006 6:47:33 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: ChocChipCookie
I can sympathise. Our dog has specific feeding times, but we leave food out for the cats. My daughter will often turn up her nose at the meals I make for her -- but then I'll find her snacking on the Science Diet.

The worst was the "tea" she made in one of her little tea-set cups: cat food steeped in water. "It's coffee!" she explained.

Kids...

21 posted on 12/04/2006 6:54:35 PM PST by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: republican4ever

I once joked that "gray" aliens are actually human time travelers who shriveled up into physical atrophy because humans devolved from playing video games, eating junk food, having sex using full-body condoms, and using antibacterial hand soap. They've come back from the future to tell us to get the kids to play outside, get dirty, and play football. Go ahead and play with the dog, it'll build up their resistance!


22 posted on 12/04/2006 6:55:28 PM PST by gregwest
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To: Right Wing Assault

Only if they are neutered.

( The dogs are neutered that is. Liberals well it goes without saying are neutered by definition. )


23 posted on 12/04/2006 7:30:55 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: blam

I wonder if they looked at a similar protective effect from cats? The last article I saw on something similar said the researchers had found a protective effect against asthma from both dogs and cats in the home before the kids reached age 1. On an anecdotal basis, I believe it .... The home I grew up in was pretty grubby (my mom had better things to do than clean :), and we had cats inside, but only one dog outside. As an adult, I am not allergic to cats, though I am to dogs, and I have never had asthma. My husband grew up in a spotless home with no pets, and both he and one sister have asthma and allergies to cats -- even though neither of their parents had allergies to anything.

Keep a happy, grubby home with lots of critters in it. Works for me!


24 posted on 12/04/2006 7:36:37 PM PST by Hetty_Fauxvert (Kelo must GO!! ..... http://sonoma-moderate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
It's had the opposite effect on me -- our house had lots of animals growing up - but I can't stand ANY animals (except the goldfish) in the house anymore. We have two outside dogs and a couple of barn cats. I know, I know, I sound like an old grump, but in some of my relatives the love of animals has gone to the extreme, and I don't want to end up covered in pet hair.

Gee, I sound awfully mean -- I'm really not - I will stop and feed animals that are hungry and people have dumped out -- I just don't bring them home anymore.

25 posted on 12/04/2006 7:47:54 PM PST by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch (If MY people who are called by MY name -- the ball's in our court, folks.)
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To: blam

And then you have the incredible rise in allergic reaction to airborne pollen, etcetera, that seems to track pretty well with the advent of widespread air conditioning in residential construction. Throw those windows open if the temps are comfortable, it's good for you, plus the crickets are natural white noise to help you sleep, lol.


26 posted on 12/04/2006 7:56:26 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
If you also keep frogs in the bedroom, you'll naturally have a cricket habitat nearby, thereby providing yourself with natural cricket music throughout the winter.

Don't ask me how I know this.

27 posted on 12/04/2006 9:20:46 PM PST by Sender ("Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything." -Mark Twain)
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To: blam
No allergies here!


28 posted on 12/04/2006 9:44:59 PM PST by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
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To: Tuscaloosa Goldfinch

It's your choice whether to have pets in the house or not, obviously. But your post is unclear -- do you not have them in the house simply because they make a mess, or is it because you are allergic to them and/or have an asthmatic response to them?


29 posted on 12/04/2006 11:12:27 PM PST by Hetty_Fauxvert (Kelo must GO!! ..... http://sonoma-moderate.blogspot.com/)
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To: blam
A good plug of dog hair in the back of the throat will cut down on wheezing every time. ; )

Although there may be a little coughing now and then. hoc tuey

30 posted on 12/05/2006 1:57:59 AM PST by TigersEye (Ego chatters on endlessly. Mind speaks in great silence.)
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To: ellery

AAAWWWWW! What adorable two-legged and four-legged creatures!
They seem to get along beautifully!


31 posted on 12/05/2006 6:09:05 PM PST by republican4ever (Israel's fate determines the fate of the world, whether we believe and like it or not.)
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To: republican4ever

:) They do! The boys are doing fairly well with the "gently, gently" training, and our rottie girl is in absolute heaven with these man-pups around (even when "gently, gently" breaks down a bit). If one of them cries, she bounds across the room and sniffs to make sure they're okay (and both she and my border mix have to give the boys a thorough once-over everytime we return home after going somewhere). They've been exposed to enough doggie saliva to keep a whole classroom from developing wheezes.


32 posted on 12/05/2006 6:53:34 PM PST by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert
But your post is unclear -- do you not have them in the house simply because they make a mess, or is it because you are allergic to them and/or have an asthmatic response to them?

I've had them in the house in the past -- but now, for various reasons unrelated to allergies or anything like that, having them in the house just grosses me out. I don't even like to go in someone's home who keeps animals inside. I know, I'm weird. I just don't like the thought of animal hair floating around inside, landing on the bed, landing in food, etc.

I'm not a neat freak, I'm not particularly organized or anything like that - it just doesn't seem very sanitary to me. I really do have a good reason for this ... ick factor, I guess you'd call it -- I have relatives who go to the other extreme, and I think that's what has done it to me. Birds or fish inside don't bother me, but cats/dogs inside ...

33 posted on 12/06/2006 5:49:41 AM PST by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch (If MY people who are called by MY name -- the ball's in our court, folks.)
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