Having A Dog Doesn’t Protect Kids From Type 1 Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tove Fall, PhD Department of Medical Sciences Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Tove Fall

Tove Fall, PhD
Department of Medical Sciences
Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Type 1 diabetes is a severe chronic disease in children. There are few established risk factors, but it has been hypothesized that factors related to reduction of microbial exposure in childhood may increase the risk. We have previously shown that children in dog-owning families are at lower risk for asthma, and we now wanted to investigate the relationship of dog ownership and diabetes. We did this by studying the whole Swedish child population with record linkage across registers of health and dog ownership. We could not find evidence for an association of dog ownership and type 1 diabetes in the general population.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: With our data, it seems like there is no significant association between dog ownership and type 1 diabetes

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Families should not expect the risk of T1D to be modified by exposing children to dogs.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Although the study was the largest so far, we did not have enough statistical power in subgroup analysis of children to parents with type 1 diabetes. Also we could not account for contact with other pets, or with dogs not registered or owned by other adults in the child’s environment than the parents.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Wernroth M, Svennblad B, Fall K, Fang F, Almqvist C, Fall T. Dog Exposure During the First Year of Life and Type 1 Diabetes in Childhood. JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 01, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0585

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