Healthy Infants Hang out with Pets and Pests
Infants exposed to pet and pest allergens less likely to have asthma.
Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens from cats, dust, cockroaches and mice during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age. This new research is reported by National Institutes of Health.
- 8% of of children in the U. S. currently have asthma, a chronic disease that intermittently inflames and narrows the airways.
- Asthma can result in missed time from school and work and is a major cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
The new study included 442 children for whom researchers had enough data to assess asthma status at age 7 years, 29 percent had asthma.
Higher concentrations of cockroach, mouse and cat allergens present in dust samples collected from the children’s homes during the first three years of life (at age 3 months, 2 years and 3 years) were linked to a lower risk of asthma by age 7 years.
The researchers observed a similar association for dog allergen, although it was not statistically significant, meaning it could be due to chance. Additional analysis indicated that exposure to higher levels of these four allergens at age 3 months was associated with a lower risk of developing asthma.
“We are learning more and more about how the early-life environment can influence the development of certain health conditions,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “If we can develop strategies to prevent asthma before it develops, we will help alleviate the burden this disease places on millions of people, as well as on their families and communities.”
The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.
Source: National Institute of Health www.nih.gov.
Dr. Dale Peterson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Medicine. He completed his residency in FamilyMedicine at the University of Oklahoma. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians. He had a full-time family practice in Edmond, Oklahoma, for over 20 years and was a Chief of Staff of the Edmond Hospital. He was active in teachingfor many years as a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine through the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Peterson left his full-time family practice in 1999 to consult with individuals who are seeking ways to restore and maintain their health through improved nutrition and other lifestyle changes. He founded the Wellness Clubs of America to give people access to credible information on supporting and maintaining their health. His monthly wellness letter, Health by Design, and his Health by Design E-Newsletter provide helpful information to individuals interested in preventing and conquering health challenges. He is the author of Building Health by Design: Adding Life to Your Years and Years to Your Life .
Dr. Peterson speaks regularly on subjects related to health and nutrition. He hosted a weekly radio program,Your Health Matters, on KTOK in Oklahoma City for five years. For the past nine years he has addressed questions from across the nation on his Your Health Matters weekly teleconference.He offers a free video LifeXtension course at www.drdalepeterson.com.