Kids Growing Up With Dogs Less Likely To Have Asthma

Posted: Nov 3 2015, 6:01am CST | by , Updated: Nov 3 2015, 4:05pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


Pet Dogs Can Prevent Kids from Asthma, Study Finds
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Exposure to dogs can reduce the risk of asthma in kids.

Good news for all those who have dogs in their houses. New research suggests that having a pet dog in the house can reduce the risk of asthma in kids.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes difficulty in breathing and results in recurring periods of coughing, wheezing and tightness in chest. According to WHO, asthma is the most common disease among children and 234 million people including children suffer from it all over the world.

For the study, researchers looked at more than one million Swedish children and found that those kids who are growing up with dogs have 13% less likely to developed asthma than those who are not exposed to dogs.

"This is important because asthma is a common chronic disease and parents may worry whether or not they should keep their pet when having a baby.” Tove Fall, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences, Sweden said in a statement.

Many previous studies also associated earlier exposure to dogs and farm animals with childhood asthma but they had produced contradictory results. The new research was an attempt to determine whether keeping dogs in house really protects kids from asthma. 

“We wanted to see if this relationship was true for children growing up with dogs in their homes.” Fall said.

In the study, which is the largest on the subject to date, researchers analyzed the national registry data from January 2007 to September 2012. The results confirmed correlation between presence of pet dogs and their positive effects on kid’s health but it does not show why having dogs prevents asthma. 

“These kind of epidemiological studies look for associations in large populations but do not provide answers on whether and how animals could protect children from developing asthma.” Fall explained. 

Bringing a canine at home may not be a good idea if your kid has allergy to dogs and cats. Otherwise, it appears absolutely fine to create a strong bond between your child and a cute, little puppy.

“This information might be helpful in decision making for families and physicians on the appropriateness and timing of early animal exposure.” Study concludes.

The study was published in JAMA.

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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