No link between pets and childhood asthma: Study

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Melbourne, October 14 (ANI): The traditional belief that childhood asthma is linked to pets or the modern obsession with hygiene has been established as untrue by a new study.

The study 'Asthma in Australian Children', published by the Institute of Health and Welfare, revealed that kids with allergies to any kind of food, grass or bees were twice as prone to be an asthma patient as children with no allergies.

"Ownership of certain pets, especially during infancy, can actually serve as a protective factor against childhood asthma," the Daily Telegraph quoted the report as stating.

The conclusion was reached after a careful study of the information gathered through the longitudinal study of 10,000 children.

The research also looked at links between exposure to tobacco smoke, sex, attending child care, having siblings, age of mother, time in a neonatal intensive care unit, to the chance of being afflicted with the disease.

Listing down reasons behind the disease, the report claimed that children with eczema were more likely to develop asthma.

It also hinted that the chance of the disease decreased if a mother breastfed her baby for longer time.

The report also briefed the problems that come with the disease.

It was observed that asthma generally doubled a child's risk of hospitalisation due to recurrent wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and narrowing of the airways.

The report further added that children with asthma were 1.44 more likely to suffer sleep disturbance apart from a negative impact on school performance and weight.

"GP visits, hospitalisation and sleep disturbances can lead to increased school absenteeism, resulting in poor grades and decreased physical activity which may affect a child's emotional state, behaviour and weight," the report said.

The study discovered that almost 20 per cent of children with frequent asthma symptoms were not taking medication. (ANI)

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