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Study suggests dogs in home decrease food allergy in infants

Study suggests dogs in home decrease food allergy in infants

A study was performed that evaluated 1,303 three-month old infants.  The infants were dividing into those that lived in homes with pets and those that did not.  The infants were examined for atopic dermatitis at enrollment and then evaluated for sensitization to foods and aeroallergens at 3, 12, and 36 months

Food allergy was diagnosed among 6.1% (68/1124) of participants with complete data. No significant relationships were demonstrated between food allergy and caesarean delivery, infections or antibiotic exposure in early life. After adjusting for familial atopic disease, maternal dog/cat sensitization and participant atopic dermatitis, infants living with dogs was associated with a 90% reduction in the odds of infants developing food allergy.  None of the 49 infants living with at least two dogs developed food allergy, suggesting a dose response relationship. The study suggests that dog ownership in infancy may prevent food allergy.

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Dog ownership at three months of age is associated with protection against food allergy.

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