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  • 1.
    Almqvist, C
    et al.
    Occupational and Environmental Health, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Egmar, Ann-Charlotte
    Occupational and Environmental Health, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Hedlin, G
    Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Stockholm.
    Lundqvist, M
    Occupational and Environmental Health, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Nordvall, S L
    Institute of Woman and Child Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala.
    Pershagen, G
    Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    Svartengren, M
    Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    van Hage-Hamsten, M
    Department of Medicine, Unit of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Karolinska Institutet and Hospital, Stockholm.
    Wickman, M
    Occupational and Environmental Health, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Direct and indirect exposure to pets: - risk of sensitization and asthma at 4 years in a birth cohort2003In: Clinical and Experimental Allergy, ISSN 0954-7894, E-ISSN 1365-2222, Vol. 33, no 9, p. 1190-1197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: There are conflicting data on the association between early exposure to pets and allergic diseases. Bias related to retrospective information on pet ownership has been addressed as a reason for distorted study results.

    OBJECTIVE: To elucidate how early exposure to cat and dog relates to IgE-sensitization and asthma in children at 2 and 4 years of age, in a prospective birth-cohort study.

    METHODS: Four thousand and eighty-nine families with children born 1994-1996 in predefined areas of Stockholm answered questionnaires on environmental factors and symptoms of allergic disease at birth, one, two and four years of age. Dust samples collected from the mothers' beds at birth were analysed for Fel d 1 and Can f 1 in a subgroup of the cohort. Blood samples taken at four years from 2614 children were analysed for allergen-specific IgE to common airborne allergens. Risk associations were calculated with a multiple logistic regression model, with adjustment for potential confounders.

    RESULTS: A correlation was seen between allergen levels and reported exposure to cat and dog. Exposure to cat seemed to increase the risk of cat sensitization, OR (odds ratio) 1.44 (95% confidence interval 1.03-2.01), whereas dog exposure did not have any effect on dog sensitization, OR 1.16 (0.79-1.72). Dog ownership was related to a reduced risk of sensitization to other airborne allergens, OR 0.36 (0.15-0.83), and a similar tendency was seen for cat ownership OR 0.63 (0.37-1.07). Early dog ownership seemed to be associated with a lower risk of asthma, OR 0.50 (0.24-1.03), with no corresponding effect after cat ownership, OR 0.88 (0.56-1.38).

    CONCLUSION: Early exposure to cat seems to increase the risk of sensitization to cat but not of asthma at 4 years of age. Dog ownership, on the other hand, appears to be associated with lowered risk of sensitization to airborne allergens and asthma. Both aetiological relationships and selection effects have to be considered in the interpretation of these findings.

  • 2.
    Wickman, M
    et al.
    Department of Environmental Health and infectious Diseases Control, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Emenius, G
    Department of Environmental Health and infectious Diseases Control, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Egmar, Ann-Charlotte
    Department of Environmental Health and infectious Diseases Control, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Axelsson, G
    Department of Environmental Health and infectious Diseases Control, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Pershagen, G
    Department of Environmental Health and infectious Diseases Control, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.
    Reduced mite allergen levels in dwellings with mechanical exhaust and supply ventilation.1994In: Clinical and Experimental Allergy, ISSN 0954-7894, E-ISSN 1365-2222, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 109-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seventy similar bungalows constructed between 1968 and 1970 in the same suburban area of Stockholm were investigated regarding the content of house dust mite allergen, absolute indoor humidity, type of ventilation and basement construction. Houses with mechanical exhaust and supply ventilation had an indoor humidity above 7 g/kg less often than houses without this type of ventilation (Odds ratio 0.1, 95% confidence interval 0.0-0.2). Furthermore, only five of the 24 houses with exhaust and supply ventilation contained mattress dust mite allergen concentrations exceeding the median value (98.5 ng/g) compared with 30 of 46 hours which did not have such ventilation (odds ratio = 0.1, C.I. 0.0-0.5). Houses with both natural ventilation and crawl space basement harboured significantly less mattress mite allergen than houses having the same type of ventilation, but with a concrete slab basement. In a cold temperature climate, type of building construction and ventilation seem to be important for the occurrence of house dust mite allergens in dwellings. Our results indicate that modern energy-efficient houses should be equipped with mechanical exhaust and supply ventilation to reduce indoor air humidity during the dry winter months and the risk of mite infestation.

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