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The benefits of canine companionship are myriad. Studies have found dog owners tend to be in better physical shape, more socially adept and have reduced levels of stress and depression. Now new research adds lowered risk for asthma to the list.
A study looked at nine different data sets that accounted for more than 1 million children—all born in Sweden between January 2001 and December 2010— and found that those who had pet dogs in the first year of life had a 15 percent lower rate of asthma than those who did not grow up with a dog in the home. The results were consistent even among children who had parents with asthma. The findings of the study—the largest to date that examines the link between pet ownership and asthma—were published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
The new research adds some ammo to those who argue for the hygiene hypothesis, which is the theory that living in an environment that is too clean promotes the risk of developing certain conditions, such as asthma..newsweek http://www\