Prevent Asthma, Consider Getting a Dog

Sep 19, 2017

A new study indicates that children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy may have less risk of developing asthma.

Previous studies found that reducing exposure to things that aggravate asthma like pet dander can help control the condition. But the new study, published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that exposure to certain allergens before asthma is established, may help prevent kids from developing asthma at all.

More than 8 percent of children in the United States currently have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma is a chronic disease that both inflames and narrows the airways when triggered and is a major cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

The research is part of the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma study and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.