The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Dog and cat exposure and the risk of respiratory symptoms and infections

    Researchers in Finland and Germany studied the first year of life.

    First, the details.

    • 397 children were followed from pregnancy onward.
    • The frequency of respiratory symptoms and infections were based on daily diary entries and a questionnaire at the age of 1 year.

    And, the results.

    • Children having dogs at home vs children without such contacts
      • Fewer respiratory tract symptoms or infections than children with no dog contacts
      • Less frequent otitis (inflammation or infection of the ear)
      • Tendency to need fewer courses of antibiotics
    • Both the weekly and yearly amount of contact with dogs and cats were associated with decreased respiratory infectious disease morbidity.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Our findings support the theory that during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood.”

    In this study, dog contact was more protective than cat contact, but the results leave that question unresolved.

    Most people believe that exposure to pet dander and microbes that pets carry might prime developing immune systems to better respond to common allergens. More research is needed to know for sure and provide informed recommendations for parents.

    8/2/12 20:29 JR

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