Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pediatr. 2011 Feb;158(2):265-71.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.07.026.

Opposing effects of cat and dog ownership and allergic sensitization on eczema in an atopic birth cohort.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.



To examine risk factors for eczema at age 4 years.


Beginning at 1 year of age, infants of atopic parents (n = 636) had annual clinical evaluations and skin prick tests (SPTs) to 15 aeroallergens and milk and egg. Parents completed validated surveys on eczema and environmental exposures. House dust samples were evaluated for allergens and endotoxin. Eczema was defined as a parental report of scratching, and redness, "raised bumps," or dry skin/scaling for 6 of the last 12 months.


At age 4 years, a total of 90 children (14%) had eczema. Not having a dog before 1 year of age and being dog SPT+ at 1, 2, or 3 years of age conferred a 4-fold higher risk for eczema at age 4 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.9 [1.6-9.2]; P = .002). Among dog owners, however, dog SPT+ was not associated with significantly increased risk (aOR 1.3 [0.3-6.8]; P = .8). Among children with cats before 1 year of age, cat SPT+ conferred significantly increased risk for eczema (aOR = 13.3 [3.1-57.9]; P < .001). Among non-cat owners, cat SPT+ was not associated with increased risk (aOR = 1.1 [0.5-2.7]; P = .8).


Dog ownership significantly reduced the risk for eczema at age 4 years among dog-sensitized children, cat ownership combined with cat sensitization significantly increased the risk.

Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk