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February 19, 2003

Exposure to Pets in Childhood and Risk of Atopic Disorders

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(7):841-843. doi:10.1001/jama.289.7.841-a

To the Editor: Dr Ownby and colleagues1 found that exposure to 2 or more dogs and cats resulted in decreased allergic sensitization among children followed up between birth and 6 to 7 years. Curiously, keeping a single pet provided no protection compared with keeping no pets. However, Ownby et al did not discuss this apparent absence of a dose-reponse relationship. One might expect that a second dog or cat would not contribute vastly more endotoxin or specific allergen than in a household with only 1 pet.

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