Parental Atopy and Exposure to Pets on Asthma: A Hospital-Based Case-Control Study

Anil C Mathew, Shaijin Steephen, Renu David, Sudha Ramalingam, Srikanth Krishnamurthy


Objectives: Studies of parental atopy, exposure to pets, and the risk of asthma have provided conflicting results. We aimed to assess the relationship between asthma among adults with parental atopy, pet keeping inside, and pet keeping outside the home. This study involved a total of 159 adults. The clinically diagnosed cases were 53 adults with asthma as per Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines and 106 controls without asthma.

Methods: The study design was a hospital based case-control study. Information on parental atopy and exposure to pets was collected by using a self-administrated questionnaire. We used the exposure odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) to quantify the relation between determinants of interest and the risk of asthma. These were estimated using logistic regression analysis with SPSS version 11.5.

Results: The paternal and maternal history of asthma were found to have significant effect on asthma among adults with adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 6.70 (1.92-23.33 95%CI) and 3.33 (1.25-8.89 95% CI) respectively. Parental history and parental atopy significantly increased risk of asthma among adults with adjusted odds ratios of 5.78 (2.38-14.05 95% CI) and 3.65 (1.58-8.43 95% CI) respectively. There was no significant association between asthma and exposure to pets. The adjusted odds ratios for pet keeping inside and outside the house were 1.61 (0.55-4.7395%CI) and 1.32 (0.61-2.87 95%CI) respectively.

Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that both parental history and parental atopy increase the risk of asthma among adults whereas pet keeping inside and outside the house during the previous 12-month period were not significantly associated with asthma among adults.

Keywords: Parental Atopy, Pets, Asthma, Case-Control Study.

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