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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Sep;132(3):616-622.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 May 24.

Pet exposure and risk of atopic dermatitis at the pediatric age: a meta-analysis of birth cohort studies.

Author information

1
IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy. Electronic address: claudio.pelucchi@marionegri.it.
2
IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy; Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
3
Université Paris Descartes, INSERM, Paris, France; INSERM, Unité 1013, Paris, France.
4
IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Findings on pet exposure and the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children are inconsistent.

OBJECTIVE:

With the aim to summarize the results of exposure to different pets on AD, we undertook a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies on this issue.

METHODS:

In August 2012, we conducted a systematic literature search in Medline and Embase. We included analytic studies considering exposure to dogs, cats, other pets, or pets overall during pregnancy, infancy, and/or childhood, with AD assessment performed during infancy or childhood. We calculated summary relative risks and 95% CIs using both fixed- and random-effects models. We computed summary estimates across selected subgroups.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six publications from 21 birth cohort studies were used in the meta-analyses. The pooled relative risks of AD for exposure versus no exposure were 0.72 (95% CI, 0.61-0.85; I(2) = 46%; results based on 15 studies) for exposure to dogs, 0.94 (95% CI, 0.76-1.16; I(2) = 54%; results based on 13 studies) for exposure to cats, and 0.75 (95% CI, 0.67-0.85; I(2) = 54%; results based on 11 studies) for exposure to pets overall. No heterogeneity emerged across the subgroups examined, except for geographic area.

CONCLUSION:

This meta-analysis reported a favorable effect of exposure to dogs and pets on the risk of AD in infants or children, whereas no association emerged with exposure to cats.

KEYWORDS:

AD; Atopic dermatitis; OR; Odds ratio; RR; Relative risk; child; epidemiology; hygiene hypothesis; pets

PMID:
23711545
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2013.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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