Infancy Exposure to Pet and Pest Allergens Linked to Reducing Risk for Asthma

News of the Month 

New research supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases indicates that children who are exposed to pet and pest allergens during early infancy are at reduced risk for developing asthma. While results of previous research recognized that reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control already established asthma, new findings suggest that exposure to some allergens at an early age may prevent the development of asthma. Asthma, a chronic disease that sporadically inflames and narrows one’s breathing airways, affects more than 8% of children in the United States. Asthma can result in missing school or work and is a leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations. A longitudinal study led by Anthony S. Fauci, MD, found that higher concentrations of cockroach, mouse, and cat allergens present in dust samples collected during the first 3 years of life were linked to a lower risk of asthma by the age of 7 years. Dr. Fauci concludes that developing strategies in the prevention of the development of this disease will aid in reducing its burden on millions of people, as well as their families and communities.

To learn more about current and emerging therapies for patients with asthma, visit our online article titled: Improving Asthma Management with Tools and Devices.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Philips Respironics, Inc.