Cats and dogs good for allergies

Published Online: July 13, 2011

Using data from the European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS) Matheson et al examined the relationship between early life factors and the development of rhinitis.

In The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Matheson et al found females developed less rhinitis in later childhood and more rhinitis in adulthood than men. In people with atopy, any early life contact with other children, for example via siblings or day care was associated with less incident rhinitis. Furthermore early life exposure to childhood pets or growing up on a farm was associated with less incident rhinitis in adolescence. Importantly these effects were consistent across socio-cultural and geographic borders.

These findings support the evidence that pet keeping in early life could protect against the development of subsequent allergies and has implications on clinical and public health.


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is the official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology