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Exposure To Cats A Bigger Problem Than People Realize

March 21, 2017

If you suffer from an allergy, not necessarily a cat allergy, the presence of cats could exacerbate your existing allergy, say researchers from Imperial College London. You do not need to have cats in your house for this to happen, they could live nearby, say the researchers.

You can read about this study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Susan Chinn, Imperial College London, and researchers at 20 locations throughout Europe, were surprised to find that people who were not specifically allergic to cats experienced higher bronchial responsiveness when in the presence of cats. It seems, said Chinn, that people who are allergic to mold, timothy grass and dust mites are most affected.

Chinn Said "Bronchial responsiveness is a measure of the propensity of the airways to constrict. Although it's not synonymous with asthma, it is an indicator of airways which are likely to show an asthmatic response. The clinical implication is that it is insufficient to test patients with asthma for cat sensitization."

Chinn said that the study should be carried out again before telling people with non-cat allergies that they should reduce their exposure to cats.

Bronchial Responsiveness in Atopic Adults Increases with Exposure to Cat Allergen
Susan Chinn, Joachim Heinrich, Josep M. Antó, Christer Janson, Dan Norbäck, Mario Olivieri, Cecilie Svanes, Jordi Sunyer, Giuseppe Verlato, Matthias Wjst, Jan-Paul Zock, Peter G. Burney and Deborah L. Jarvis
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol 176. pp. 20-26, (2007)
doi: 10.1164/rccm.200612-1840OC
Click here to view abstract online