The association of pet keeping at home with symptoms in airways, nose and skin among Bulgarian children

Authors

  • Kiril Naydenov,

    1. ALECTIA A/S, Teknikerbyen 34, Virum, DK-2830, Denmark
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  • Todor Popov,

    1. Association Asthma, Clinical Centre of Allergology, Alexander's University Hospital, 1, Sv. Georgi Sofiyski St., BG-1431 Sofia, Bulgaria
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  • Tihomir Mustakov,

    1. Association Asthma, Clinical Centre of Allergology, Alexander's University Hospital, 1, Sv. Georgi Sofiyski St., BG-1431 Sofia, Bulgaria
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  • Arsen Melikov,

    1. International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Building 402, Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark
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  • Carl-Gustaf Bornehag,

    1. International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Building 402, Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark
    2. Public Health Sciences, Karlstad University, Universitygatan 2, S-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden
    3. SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Box 857, S-501 15, Boras, Sweden
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  • Jan Sundell

    1. The University of Texas at Tyler, College of Engineering and Computer Science, 3900 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75799, USA
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Kiril Naydenov, ALECTIA A/S, Teknikerbyen 34,
DK-2830 Virum
Tel.: 004588191315
Fax: 004588191001
E-mail: kgna@alectia.com

Abstract

The role of pet exposure in early childhood for allergy/ asthma later in life is still controversial. Recently it was shown that ‘avoidance behaviour’ is an important factor for the pet distribution in the population. The aim of the present work is to study the association between self-reported pet keeping at home and symptoms in airways, nose and skin among children 2–7 years of age, in a country where primary prevention strategies regarding allergies are not common. A cross-sectional survey on the association between allergy and asthma symptoms and home enviromental factors was conducted in two towns in Bulgaria in spring 2004 (the ALLHOME-1 study). Data for 4479 out of 12982 children was obtained. 21.3% of the parents reported having pets at the time of the questionnaire, and 23.3% for pet keeping at index child's birth. Parents of 3.3% of the children got rid of some of the pets and 10.6% refrained from having pets, due in both cases to allergic illness in the family. Keeping dogs or cats at the time of the survey or during the child's first years was associated with most of the symptoms (aOR 1.1–2.2).

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