Infants who had prenatal exposure to household pets had 28% lower levels of antibody immunoglobulin E -- which is linked to increased risk of allergies and asthma -- compared with those without such exposure, researchers reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Among those with pet exposure, those who were born via vaginal delivery and those of European, Asian or Middle Eastern descent had lower IgE levels compared with those born via cesarean section and blacks, the study found.

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