Study confirms earlier research that children benefit to early exposure to dogs.
New research by a team of Swedish scientists say they have found conclusive proof that children who grow up around dogs are about 15 percent less likely to develop asthma than those children growing up without dogs for pets, according to a release on eurekalert.org.
This is not news to a number of scientists, since the subject has been studied many times in the past, but the research team says they have confirmed what was previously suspected.
Using information gleaned from a national register, the team studied the association of more than one million Swedish children who had early life contact with dogs, and later in life developed asthma.
Every person in Sweden is assigned a personal number and any visit to a specialist physician and each prescription written is recorded into databases that are accessible for researchers, after the identification has been removed from the data. In addition, dog owners are required to register their pets, a law that has been in use since 2001.
Examining the data from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, the research team in this study looked for an association with a registered dog owner or farmer and children of those individuals that were later diagnosed or treated for childhood asthma. The group considered the children had been exposed to dogs if the parents were registered dog owners or were registered as “animal producers and related workers.”
The researchers took into account information regarding parental asthma history as well.