Washington D.C.: A new study has revealed that children who grew up with pet dogs have about 15 percent less asthma than children without dogs.
In the study, a total of more than one million children were included, and two dog ownership registers.
Researcher Tove Fall of the Uppsala University said that their results confirmed the farming effect, and they also saw that children who grew up with dogs had about 15 percent less asthma than children without dogs.
Fall said that because they had access to such a large and detailed data set, they could account for confounding factors such as asthma in parents, area of residence and socioeconomic status.
In Sweden, dog ownership registration is mandatory in Sweden since 2001. These scientists studied whether having a parent registered as a dog-owner or animal farmer was associated with later diagnosis or medication for childhood asthma.
Senior author Catarina Almqvist Malmros of the Karolinska Institute said that their results also indicated that children who grow up with dogs have reduced risks of asthma later in life.
Malmros said their results were generalisable to the Swedish population, and probably also to other European populations with similar culture regarding pet ownership and farming.
The study is published in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics.