E-Journal Bonus Article: Association Between Keeping Pet Animals and Allergic Rhinitis: A Case-Control Study Among Japanese University Students


Keeping pet animals might enhance allergic diseases, although studies have yielded inconsistent results. This case-control study investigated whether previously keeping pets was associated with the development of allergic rhinitis. A questionnaire was distributed to first-year university students in 2012 and 2013, and responses were obtained from 3,061 individuals. Matching of demographic factors, including age, sex, family history, hometown region, number of siblings, daycare center attendance, and the type of fuel used for heating yielded 570 case-control pairs. Previous experience keeping pets, including cats and indoor or outdoor dogs, was evaluated at all ages from 0 to 18 years continuously. The odds ratios for developing allergic rhinitis of keeping a dog inside or outside the home and of keeping a cat at age 0 were 2.50, 1.26, and 1.64, respectively. These odds ratios decreased with increasing age, however, falling below 1.0 at ages 10, 4, and 11 years, respectively. This study could facilitate further understanding of the effects of pets on allergic diseases.

Speaker / Author: 
Mitsuo Uchida, MD, PhD
Minoru Kaneko, MD, PhD
Shigeyuki Kawa, MD, PhD
Month Year: 
November 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
November 2016