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View Full Version : Cats can trigger allergic reactions in 25% of people, say researchers


Eddy Bentley
July 2nd 07, 10:18 AM
Hi all. I don't want to worry anyone, but this report in this morning's
paper is interesting news for us cat-lovers. It certainly seems to
validate my concern about making sure I get the best vacuum for scraping
up all that cat-fur on the carpets and stairs!
Eddy.

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Cats can trigger allergic reactions in 25% of people, say researchers

Ian Sample
Monday July 2, 2007
The Guardian

Household cats can trigger allergic reactions in more than a quarter of
the population, suggesting the pets have a far greater impact on human
health than doctors had previously believed, scientists warned
yesterday. A study of nearly 2,000 volunteers across Europe found that
cats could cause breathing difficulties in people with some of the most
common allergies.
Researchers think even a small exposure to cats is enough to aggravate
symptoms similar to the early stages of asthma if people are already
sensitised to common allergens such as house dust mites, timothy grass
and a mould called Cladosporidium. "People need to be aware that cats
are a problem for more people than we realised," said Susan Chinn, lead
author of the study at Imperial College London. "If they're thinking of
getting a pet and a cat is just one of their options, they might want to
pause before choosing."

In the study, Dr Chinn's team collected house dust samples from the
homes of 1,884 people from 20 different areas throughout Europe and
analysed them for levels of cat allergen, grass allergen, mould and dust
mites.

The tests revealed that more than one in four of the volunteers, who
were picked to be representative of the general population, had at least
one allergy, and the higher the levels of cat allergen found in their
house dust, the worse was their lung function. "This was an unexpected
finding," said Dr Chinn. "Our study suggests that all allergenic
individuals have signs of asthmatic responses if exposed to cat
allergen, even if blood tests show they are not allergic to cats."

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
Medicine yesterday, the authors claim that avoiding exposure to the cat
allergen, which is found in the fur of the animals and is shed as they
move around, would benefit a much wider population than previously
expected.

"It appears that many individuals could benefit from reduced cat
ownership and exposure," said Dr Chinn. "However, because our findings
were unexpected, it is important that results are replicated in other
studies before firm recommendations are made."

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Lis
July 3rd 07, 04:15 PM
On Jul 2, 5:18 am, Eddy Bentley
> wrote:
> Hi all. I don't want to worry anyone, but this report in this morning's
> paper is interesting news for us cat-lovers. It certainly seems to
> validate my concern about making sure I get the best vacuum for scraping
> up all that cat-fur on the carpets and stairs!
> Eddy.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------*--
>
> Cats can trigger allergic reactions in 25% of people, say researchers
>
> Ian Sample
> Monday July 2, 2007
> The Guardian
>
> Household cats can trigger allergic reactions in more than a quarter of
> the population, suggesting the pets have a far greater impact on human
> health than doctors had previously believed, scientists warned
> yesterday. A study of nearly 2,000 volunteers across Europe found that
> cats could cause breathing difficulties in people with some of the most
> common allergies.
> Researchers think even a small exposure to cats is enough to aggravate
> symptoms similar to the early stages of asthma if people are already
> sensitised to common allergens such as house dust mites, timothy grass
> and a mould called Cladosporidium. "People need to be aware that cats
> are a problem for more people than we realised," said Susan Chinn, lead
> author of the study at Imperial College London. "If they're thinking of
> getting a pet and a cat is just one of their options, they might want to
> pause before choosing."
>
> In the study, Dr Chinn's team collected house dust samples from the
> homes of 1,884 people from 20 different areas throughout Europe and
> analysed them for levels of cat allergen, grass allergen, mould and dust
> mites.
>
> The tests revealed that more than one in four of the volunteers, who
> were picked to be representative of the general population, had at least
> one allergy, and the higher the levels of cat allergen found in their
> house dust, the worse was their lung function. "This was an unexpected
> finding," said Dr Chinn. "Our study suggests that all allergenic
> individuals have signs of asthmatic responses if exposed to cat
> allergen, even if blood tests show they are not allergic to cats."
>
> Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
> Medicine yesterday, the authors claim that avoiding exposure to the cat
> allergen, which is found in the fur of the animals and is shed as they
> move around, would benefit a much wider population than previously
> expected.
>
> "It appears that many individuals could benefit from reduced cat
> ownership and exposure," said Dr Chinn. "However, because our findings
> were unexpected, it is important that results are replicated in other
> studies before firm recommendations are made."
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------

I know when I get ill and when I don't, and it doesn't correlate with
presence or absence of cats or cat hair.

Besides, cats as well as dogs have other health benefits, and not
everyone can accommodate the greater time and activity demands of a
dog. I have both, and ain't nobody telling me that their theory trumps
my actual experience when it comes to my health.

Lis