Health Advice for Childhood Eczema and Pets: CAT or Dog? Friend or Foe?
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AbstractBackground: Household animal dander has been implicated as aeroallergen in childhood atopic diseases. Many parents seek healthcare advice if household pet keeping may be detrimental in atopic eczema (AE) and atopies. Aim: We investigated if skin sensitization by cat/dog dander was associated with disease severity and quality of life in children with AE. Methods: Demographics, skin prick test (SPT) results, disease severity (Nottingham eczema severity score NESS), Children Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), blood IgE and eosinophil counts of a cohort of AE patients were reviewed. Results: 325 AE patients followed at a pediatric dermatology clinic were evaluated. Personal history of asthma was lowest (20%) in the dog-dander-positive-group but highest (61%) in both-cat-and-dog-dander-positive group (p=0.007). Unlike dust mite or food sensitization, the incidence of cat or dog sensitization was low. Binomial logistic regression ascertained that cat-dander sensitization was associated with increasing age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.056; 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 1.006 to 1.109; p=0.029), dust-mite sensitization (aOR, 4.625; 95% CI, 1.444 to 14.815; p=0.010), food-allergen sensitization (aOR, 2.330; 95% CI, 1.259 to 4.310; p=0.007) and keeping-cat-ever (aOR, 7.325; 95% CI, 1.193 to 44.971; p=0.032); whereas dog-dander sensitization was associated with dust-mite sensitization (aOR, 9.091; 95% CI, 1.148 to 71.980; p=0.037), food-allergen sensitization (aOR, 3.568; 95% CI, 1.341 to 9.492; p=0.011) and keeping-dog-ever (aOR, 6.809; 95% CI, 2.179 to 21.281; p=0.001). However, neither cat nor dog sensitization were associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, parental or sibling atopic status, disease severity or quality of life. Conclusion: Physicians should advise parents that there is no direct correlation between AE severity, quality of life, asthma or allergic rhinitis with skin sensitization to cats or dogs. Sensitized patients especially those with concomitant asthma and severe symptoms may consider non-furry alternatives if they plan to have a pet. Highly sensitized individuals, especially those with asthma co-morbidity, may have to remove their pet for a trial period to determine if symptoms improve.
All Author(s) ListKam Lun Hon, Kathy Yin Ching Tsang, Nga Hin Henry Pong, Ting Fan Leung
Journal nameCurrent Pediatric Reviews
Volume Number13
PublisherBentham Science Publishers
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 01:37