Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs And Smog Don't Mix: Pets In Homes May Lead To Increased Rates Of Bronchitis In Children

Date:
August 29, 2006
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
A new study from USC researchers suggests that having a dog in the home may worsen the response to air pollution of a child with asthma.

A new study from researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) suggests that having a dog in the home may worsen the response to air pollution of a child with asthma. The study was published this week in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In "Dog Ownership Enhances Symptomatic Responses to Air Pollution in Children with Asthma," researchers looked at the relationship between chronic cough, phlegm production or bronchitis and dog and cat ownership among 475 southern California children with asthma who participated in the Children's Health Study, a longitudinal study of air pollution and respiratory health.

Children with dogs had significantly increased cough, phlegm production and bronchitis responses to the measured pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and acid vapor. There were no increases of these symptoms in children who lived in homes without pets or who lived with only cats.

"Further work is needed to determine what it is about dogs that may increase an asthmatic child's response to air pollution," says Rob McConnell, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author of the study.

McConnell and colleagues speculated that the increased response to air pollution from a dog in the home may really be due to increased levels of endotoxin, which is more common in homes where there is a dog.

"Cats are highly allergenic, and children with asthma are often allergic to cats," says McConnell. "Therefore if an allergen were enhancing the lung's response to air pollution, we'd be more likely to see an association with cats. But in this study we see an effect of air pollution in homes with dogs, so we think endotoxin exposure is a more likely explanation for our results than allergen exposure."

Endotoxin is a part of the cell wall of common bacteria in the environment. The authors note that inhaled endotoxin produces a marked inflammatory response in the lungs, and it may cause the airways of people with asthma to constrict. In previous studies, endotoxin has been shown to enhance the inflammatory effect of diesel exhaust particulate, inhaled highway aerosols and ozone in the lungs of experimental animals.

"There's experimental literature that shows both allergens and endotoxin interact with air pollution and increase the effect of each other," says McConnell. "But there's been very little study to see if these experiments have relevance for the general population of children with asthma."

McConnell cautioned that much more study is needed to specify why, exactly, children with asthma living in homes with dogs had an enhanced response to air pollution.

"There are other possible explanations for the findings," he says, "and actual measurements of home allergen and endotoxin, in addition to air pollution, would be important to evaluate further our hypothesis. It could also be that something only indirectly related to dogs could explain these results, for example that kids with dogs exercise outside more so they have more exposure to air pollution."

The research was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Southern California Particle Center, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the California Air Resources Board and the Hastings Foundation.

Rob McConnell, Kiros Berhane, Jassy Molitor, Frank Gilliland, Nino Kunzli, Peter S. Thorne, Duncan Thomas, W. James Gauderman, Edward Avol, Fred Lurmann, Edward Rappaport, Michael Jerrett, John M. Peters, "Dog Ownership Enhances Symptomatic Responses to Air Pollution in Children with Asthma," Environmental Health Perspectives, online Aug. 29, 2006.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Dogs And Smog Don't Mix: Pets In Homes May Lead To Increased Rates Of Bronchitis In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829080436.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2006, August 29). Dogs And Smog Don't Mix: Pets In Homes May Lead To Increased Rates Of Bronchitis In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829080436.htm
University of Southern California. "Dogs And Smog Don't Mix: Pets In Homes May Lead To Increased Rates Of Bronchitis In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829080436.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins