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Presence of domestic pets and respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children

Presence of domestic pets and respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children
Presence of domestic pets and respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children

The allergens of domestic pets such as cats, dogs and birds, have been known to sensitise predisposed individuals. In Singapore, approximately 25% to 35% of our atopic population are sensitised to cat, dog or bird feather allergens. It is not known, however, if the presence of such domestic pets would translate to higher rates of sensitisation, or more importantly, give rise to increased respiratory symptoms. This study evaluated the association between the presence of domestic pets at home and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among asthmatic children in Singapore. The parents of 1517 doctor-diagnosed asthmatic children were interviewed using the American Thoracic SocietyDivision of Lung Diseases respiratory questionnaire. More than 20% were found to have domestic pets (cats, dogs or birds) at home. Of these, those with exposure to passive smoke in the home were excluded. A total of 188 current pet owners (cats, dogs and birds) were demographically-matched for sex, race and socio-economic status (type of housing) to those without pets, past or current. Compared to those without pets, asthmatic children with pets at home had a higher prevalence of coughing with cold [relative risk (RR) 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 1.69]; wheezing with cold (RR 1.42; CI 1.07 to 1.90), wheezing with shortness of breath (RR 1.33; CI 1.00 to 1.82), exercise-induced wheezing (RR 1.68; CI 1.10 to 2.56); and increased phlegm production or congestion with cold (RR 1.38; CI 1.00 to 1.91). This study suggests that the presence of domestic pets increases the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children. Those with predisposition to these allergens should avoid having these pets in the home or take specific precautions in avoiding their allergens.

Asthma morbidity, Exercise, Flu, Pet allergy
0304-4602
294-298
Chew, F.T.
a0cc1bc6-ba29-4e20-a1e5-d6440d60cd5a
Teo, J.
28e9c459-5f68-48a1-92ed-f4c525407291
Quak, S.H.
815e1b14-f80a-4fd8-adf3-0f517358ec57
Connett, G.J.
55d5676c-90d8-46bf-a508-62eded276516
Lee, B.W.
643a0988-a441-4752-a190-e1e392c98738
Chew, F.T.
a0cc1bc6-ba29-4e20-a1e5-d6440d60cd5a
Teo, J.
28e9c459-5f68-48a1-92ed-f4c525407291
Quak, S.H.
815e1b14-f80a-4fd8-adf3-0f517358ec57
Connett, G.J.
55d5676c-90d8-46bf-a508-62eded276516
Lee, B.W.
643a0988-a441-4752-a190-e1e392c98738

Chew, F.T., Teo, J., Quak, S.H., Connett, G.J. and Lee, B.W. (1997) Presence of domestic pets and respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children. Annals Academy of Medicine Singapore, 26 (3), 294-298.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The allergens of domestic pets such as cats, dogs and birds, have been known to sensitise predisposed individuals. In Singapore, approximately 25% to 35% of our atopic population are sensitised to cat, dog or bird feather allergens. It is not known, however, if the presence of such domestic pets would translate to higher rates of sensitisation, or more importantly, give rise to increased respiratory symptoms. This study evaluated the association between the presence of domestic pets at home and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among asthmatic children in Singapore. The parents of 1517 doctor-diagnosed asthmatic children were interviewed using the American Thoracic SocietyDivision of Lung Diseases respiratory questionnaire. More than 20% were found to have domestic pets (cats, dogs or birds) at home. Of these, those with exposure to passive smoke in the home were excluded. A total of 188 current pet owners (cats, dogs and birds) were demographically-matched for sex, race and socio-economic status (type of housing) to those without pets, past or current. Compared to those without pets, asthmatic children with pets at home had a higher prevalence of coughing with cold [relative risk (RR) 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 1.69]; wheezing with cold (RR 1.42; CI 1.07 to 1.90), wheezing with shortness of breath (RR 1.33; CI 1.00 to 1.82), exercise-induced wheezing (RR 1.68; CI 1.10 to 2.56); and increased phlegm production or congestion with cold (RR 1.38; CI 1.00 to 1.91). This study suggests that the presence of domestic pets increases the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children. Those with predisposition to these allergens should avoid having these pets in the home or take specific precautions in avoiding their allergens.

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More information

Published date: May 1997
Keywords: Asthma morbidity, Exercise, Flu, Pet allergy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420692
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420692
ISSN: 0304-4602
PURE UUID: 21d68223-003a-4dc4-a819-1c930e2ff8b8
ORCID for G.J. Connett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1310-3239

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:22

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Contributors

Author: F.T. Chew
Author: J. Teo
Author: S.H. Quak
Author: G.J. Connett ORCID iD
Author: B.W. Lee

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