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February 19, 2003

Exposure to Pets in Childhood and Risk of Atopic DisordersExposure to Pets in Childhood and Risk of Atopic Disorders

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

To the Editor: Dr Ownby and colleagues1 found that dog ownership (especially multiple dogs) seems to protect against childhood atopy and asthma. The authors acknowledge the strong role that possible genetic influences have on the development of pediatric allergy and took precautions against confounding their results by parental factors. Nonetheless, it is still possible that their findings could be explained by the decision of allergic parents to shun pet ownership for their homes and children. It would also account for the unexpected protective effect of owning more than 1 dog.

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