Researchers Examine Effects of Dog and Cat Allergen Exposures on Asthma Morbidity

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, In Practice published an article in July 2017 examining “the effect of dog and cat allergen exposures on asthma morbidity in the US population.” Utilizing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is a representative sample of the civilian US population, researchers analyzed data on “asthma, dog, and cat allergen levels in bedroom dust,” and also analyzed certain allergy-related antibodies “for all participants 6 years or older.”

Upon analyzing the data, researchers found the “prevalence of allergic sensitization” in the survey population “was similar for dog and cat, with both being approximately 12%.”  For those that were sensitized, “exposure to elevated levels of pet allergens was associated with an increased prevalence of asthma and asthma attacks.” Further, 44.2% of “asthma attacks were attributable to exposure to high levels of dog allergen in the bedroom among patients with asthma sensitive to dog,” and those sensitive to cats showed a similar statistic of 30.3%. The researchers concluded “exposure to elevated levels of dog and cat allergens among those sensitized individuals with asthma is associated with excess asthma attacks.”

To read the abstract for the study, click here.