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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Exposure to Pet, Pest Allergens During Infancy Linked to Reduced Asthma Risk

Girl using inhaler

Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age.

Photo: LSOphoto/iStock

Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by NIH reveals. The findings, published Sept. 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.

While previous studies have established that reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control established asthma, the new findings suggest that exposure to certain allergens early in life, before asthma develops, may have a preventive effect. The observations come from the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma study, funded by NIAID through its Inner-City Asthma Consortium.

“We are learning more and more about how the early-life environment can influence the development of certain health conditions,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “If we can develop strategies to prevent asthma before it develops, we will help alleviate the burden this disease places on millions of people, as well as on their families and communities.”

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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Associate Editor: Carla Garnett
Carla.Garnett@nih.gov

Staff Writers:

Eric Bock
Eric.Bock@nih.gov

Dana Talesnik
Dana.Talesnik@nih.gov

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