Advertisement

Association between pet ownership and the risk of dying from colorectal cancer: an 18-year follow-up of a national cohort

  • Atin Adhikari
  • Yudan Wei
  • Naduparambil Jacob
  • Andrew R. Hansen
  • Kassandra Snook
  • Chad E. Burleson
  • Jian ZhangEmail author
Original Article
  • 67 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Despite the popularity of pets, research on the relationship between pet ownership and the risk of cancer remains minimal and inconclusive.

Aim

To longitudinally examine the association between pet ownership and the risk of dying from colorectal cancer.

Methods

We analyzed the data of a nationally representative cohort of 13,929 adults aged ≥ 19 years who answered the question about pet ownership in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1988–1994. The vital status was followed through 31 December 2010.

Results

Approximately, 43% of the participants had pets, 26% with dogs, 20% with cats and 5% with birds. By the end of an 18-year follow-up (mean = 15 years), 70 colorectal cancer deaths were recorded. After adjustment for socio-demographic factors, cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, body mass index, physical activity, history of atopic conditions and serum cotinine measured at the baseline survey, the hazard ratio (HR) of dying from colorectal cancer associated with having any pets was 2.83 (95% CI = 1.51–5.30) compared with non-pet owners. This association was largely attributed to owning a cat. The HR of dying from colorectal cancer for owning a cat was 2.67 (1.22–5.86). The HR for owning a dog was 0.89 (0.37–2.12).

Conclusions

Having a cat was significantly associated with an elevated risk of dying from colorectal cancer among the general population. The observed detrimental effects the cats conferred may not be explained by confounding effects from socio-demographics, cigarette smoking, sedentary life or atopic conditions.

Keywords

Longitudinal study Mortality Pet ownership Colorectal cancer NHANES 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest needs to be disclosed.

References

  1. Alavanja MC, Brownson RC, Berger E, Lubin J, Modigh C (1996) Avian exposure and risk of lung cancer in women in Missouri: population based case-control study. BMJ 313:1233–1235CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Bond JA, Ayres PH, Medinsky MA, Cheng YS, Hirshfield D, McClellan RO (1986) Disposition and metabolism of [14C]dibenzo[c,g]carbazole aerosols in rats after inhalation. Fundam Appl Toxicol 7:76–85CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Cortes G, Carvajal M, Mendez-Ramirez I, vila-Gonzalez E, Chilpa-Galvan N, Castillo-Urueta P, Flores CM (2010) Identification and quantification of aflatoxins and aflatoxicol from poultry feed and their recovery in poultry litter. Poult Sci 89:993–1001CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Creagan ET, Bauer BA, Thomley BS, Borg JM (2015) Animal-assisted therapy at Mayo Clinic: the time is now. Complement Ther Clin Pract 21:101–104CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cronin KA et al (2018) Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, part I: national cancer statistics. Cancer 124:2785–2800.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31551 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Di Stefano V, Pitonzo R, Cicero N, D’Oca MC (2014) Mycotoxin contamination of animal feeding stuff: detoxification by gamma-irradiation and reduction of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A concentrations. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 31:2034–2039CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Franti CE, Kraus JF, Borhani NO, Johnson SL, Tucker SD (1980) Pet ownership in rural northern California (El Dorado County). J Am Vet Med Assoc 176:143–149PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Friedmann E, Thomas SA (1995) Pet ownership, social support, and one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction in the cardiac arrhythmia suppression trial (CAST). Am J Cardiol 76:1213–1217CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Friedmann E, Thomas SA, Stein PK, Kleiger RE (2003) Relation between pet ownership and heart rate variability in patients with healed myocardial infarcts. Am J Cardiol 91:718–721CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Friedmann E, Thomas SA, Son H (2011) Pets, depression and long term survival in community living patients following myocardial infarction. Anthrozoos 24:273–285.  https://doi.org/10.2752/175303711X13045914865268 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Garcia DO, Lander EM, Wertheim BC, Manson JE, Volpe SL, Chlebowski RT, Stefanick ML, Lessin LS, Kuller LH, Thomson, CA (2016) Pet ownership and cancer risk in the women’s health initiative. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev. 25:1311–1316.  https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0218
  12. Gardiner AJ, Forey BA, Lee PN (1992) Avian exposure and bronchogenic carcinoma. BMJ 305:989–992CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Hamada T, Nowak JA, Masugi Y, Hamada T, Nowak JA, Masugi Y, Drew DA, Song M, Cao Y, Kosumi K, Mima K, Twombly TS, Liu L, Shi Y, da Silva A, Gu M, Li W, Nosho K, Keum N, Giannakis M, Meyerhardt JA, Wu K, Wang M, Chan AT, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Nishihara R, Zhang X, Ogino S (2018) Smoking and risk of colorectal cancer sub-classified by tumor-infiltrating T cells. J Natl Cancer Inst.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djy137
  14. Harrison JC, Carvajal M, Garner RC (1993) Does aflatoxin exposure in the United Kingdom constitute a cancer risk? Environ Health Perspect 99:99–105CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Holst PA, Kromhout D, Brand R (1988) For debate: pet birds as an independent risk factor for lung cancer. BMJ 297:1319–1321CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division USCB (2009) How the Census Bureau Measures Poverty(Official Measure)Google Scholar
  17. Kerr J, Anderson C, Lippman SM (2017) Physical activity, sedentary behaviour, diet, and cancer: an update and emerging new evidence. Lancet Oncol 18:e457–e471.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30411-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kohlmeier L, Arminger G, Bartolomeycik S, Bellach B, Rehm J, Thamm M (1992) Pet birds as an independent risk factor for lung cancer: case-control study. BMJ 305:986–989CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Kohlmeier L, Bellach B, Thamm M (1993) Pet birds and lung cancer. BMJ 306:60CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Lainscak M, Farkas J, Frantal S, Singer P, Bauer P, Hiesmayr M, Schindler K (2014) Self-rated health, nutritional intake and mortality in adult hospitalized patients. Eur J Clin Investig 44:813–824.  https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12300 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Laumbacher B, Fellerhoff B, Herzberger B, Wank R (2006) Do dogs harbour risk factors for human breast cancer? Med Hypotheses 67:21–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Levine GN, Allen K, Braun LT, Christian HE, Friedmann E, Taubert KA, Thomas SA, Wells DL, Lange RA (2013) Pet ownership and cardiovascular risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 127:2353–2363.  https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0b013e31829201e1
  23. Maresca M, Fantini J (2010) Some food-associated mycotoxins as potential risk factors in humans predisposed to chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases. Toxicon 56:282–294CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Modigh C, Axelsson G, Alavanja M, Andersson L, Rylander R (1996) Pet birds and risk of lung cancer in Sweden: a case-control study. BMJ 313:1236–1238CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Moody WJ, Fenwick DC, Blackshaw JK (1996) Pitfalls of studies designed to test the effect pets have on the cardiovascular parameters of their owners in the home situation: a pilot study. Appl Anim Behav Sci 47:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morabia A, Stellman S, Lumey LH, Wynder EL (1998) Parakeets, canaries, finches, parrots and lung cancer: no association. Br J Cancer 77:501–504CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Ogechi I, Snook K, Davis BM, Hansen AR, Liu F, Zhang J (2016) Authors’ response: health benefits/hazards associated with companion animal-exposure might be endpoint-and-animal specific. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev 23:263–264.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40292-016-0165-0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Parker GB, Gayed A, Owen CA, Hyett MP, Hilton TM, Heruc GA (2010) Survival following an acute coronary syndrome: a pet theory put to the test. Acta Psychiatr Scand 121:65–70.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01410.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Parslow RA, Jorm AF (2003) Pet ownership and risk factors for cardiovascular disease: another look. Med J Aust 179:466–468PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Pet Ownership: Data from APPMA’s 2005/2006 National Pet Owners Survey (2006) American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Greenwich, CT, USAGoogle Scholar
  31. Petridou E, Trichopoulos D, Kalapothaki V, Pourtsidis A, Kogevinas M, Kalmanti M, Koliouskas D, Kosmidis H, Panagiotou JP, Piperopoulou F, Tzortzatou F (1997) The risk profile of childhood leukaemia in Greece: a nationwide case-control study. Br J Cancer 76:1241–1247Google Scholar
  32. Rossi M, Jahanzaib Anwar M, Usman A, Keshavarzian A, Bishehsari F (2018) Colorectal cancer and alcohol consumption-populations to molecules. Cancers (Basel) 10.  https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10020038
  33. Slattery ML (2004) Physical activity and colorectal cancer. Sports Med 34:239–252CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Song M Song M, Nishihara R, Wu K, Qian ZR, Kim SA, Sukawa Y, Mima K, Inamura K, Masuda A, Yang J, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci EL, Ogino S, Chan AT (2015) Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of colorectal cancer according to microsatellite instability. J Natl Cancer Inst 107(4). pii: djv007  https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djv007
  35. Swensen AR, Ross JA, Shu XO, Reaman GH, Steinbuch M, Robison LL (2001) Pet ownership and childhood acute leukemia (USA and Canada). Cancer Causes Control 12:301–303CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Tranah GJ, Bracci PM, Holly EA (2008) Domestic and farm-animal exposures and risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a population-based study in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev 17:2382–2387.  https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0373 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang Z, Wu Q, Kuca K, Dohnal V, Tian Z (2014) Deoxynivalenol: signaling pathways and human exposure risk assessment—an update. Arch Toxicol 88:1915–1928.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-014-1354-z CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. White E, Hunt JR, Casso D (1998) Exposure measurement in cohort studies: the challenges of prospective data collection. Epidemiol Rev 20:43–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public HealthGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community MedicineMercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyOhio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Department of Community Health, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public HealthGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public HealthGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA

Personalised recommendations