Cats May Reduce A Child's Risk of Developing Asthma

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Imagine a couple is expecting a new baby . . .

If one of the expectant parents has asthma or allergies, their newborn has an increased risk of also developing asthma . . . BUT, if the family owns a cat, the baby's chances of developing asthma GOES DOWN DRAMATICALLY!

New research reveals that exposing children to high indoor levels of cats and cat allergens during infancy lowers their risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age.

The findings, published September 19, 2017 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, provides new strategies to prevent asthma from developing in kids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 8 percent of children in the United States currently have asthma.

The Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) study, funded by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (NIAID) studied 442 newborns at high risk for developing asthma because at least one parent has asthma or allergies. Researchers followed children from birth through 7 years of age.

  • 130 children (29 %) developed asthma.
  • Higher concentrations of 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.
  • Additional analysis indicated that exposure to higher levels of cat allergens (and mouse and cockroach) at age 3 months was associated with a lower risk of developing asthma.
  • Exposure to a broad variety of indoor allergens, bacteria and bacterial products early in life may reduce the risk of developing asthma.

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