Cat and dog exposure and respiratory morbidities in cystic fibrosis

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6 Scopus citations


Objective To understand the triggers that may impact respiratory health in cystic fibrosis (CF), including the effects of pets, because environmental factors contribute to one-half of the variation in lung function in patients with CF.

Study design A total of 703 subjects with CF were recruited through the US CF Twin-Sibling Study. Questionnaires were used to determine the presence/absence of cats and dogs in households with a child with CF. Questionnaires, chart review, and US CF Foundation Patient Registry data were used to track respiratory and infection outcomes.

Results Within the sample, 47% of subjects reported owning a dog, and 28% reported owning a cat. After adjustment for demographic factors, dog ownership was not associated with any adverse clinical outcomes, and cat ownership was associated an increased risk in developing nasal polyps (aOR 1.66; P =.024) compared with noncat owners. Subjects who owned both cats and dogs were twice as likely to report wheezing compared with other subjects (aOR: 2.01; P =.009). There were no differences in prevalence and age of acquisition for the common CF respiratory pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus between cat/dog owners and noncat/dog owners.

Conclusions Cat ownership was associated with a greater frequency of developing nasal polyps and combined cat-dog ownership was associated with a greater rate of wheezing. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these associations and the potential psychosocial benefits of cat and/or dog ownership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-835.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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