Cat lovers, otherwise allergic, beware. Cuddling your pet could prove bad for your lungs.
UK researchers have found that a protein secreted from the cats skin could irritate the lungs and exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, even in people who have no specific allergy to the animals. Of course the problem is restricted to individuals who generally suffer from allergy of one kind or another.
A Europe-wide study by a team from Imperial College, London, took samples from the mattresses of 1,884 people with certain common allergies.
Increased exposure to cat allergen was associated with greater sensitivity of the respiratory system in the volunteers, and encouraged symptoms of wheezing or breathlessness in those who were not known to be allergic to cats.
The increased symptoms, known as greater bronchial responsiveness (BR), suggested that reduced exposure to cats may be beneficial for allergic individuals, regardless of their specific allergies, the researchers said.
This was an unexpected finding, Susan Chinn, lead author of the study, said. We presupposed that we would find increased responsiveness only in those individuals . . . whose blood tests showed that they were allergic to cats. But our study suggests that all allergic individuals have signs of asthmatic responses if exposed to cat allergen, even if blood tests show that they are not allergic to cats. Dr Chinn and her team report their findings in this months issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.
The study included measurements of house dust mite and cat allergen in mattress dust samples, and data on sensitisation to four main allergens cat, house dust mite, Cladosporidium (a common mold) and timothy grass. Participants were given a methacholine challenge test, a medical procedure used to diagnose asthma, and the results were compared with the allePage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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