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.
Greenberg GN, Mohanan S, Greenberg SG. 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
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