do birds cause lung cancer

The relationship between pet bird keeping and lung cancer according to exposure to tobacco smoking was investigated in a case-control study in hospitals of New York City and Washington, DC, USA. Newly diagnosed lung cancer cases (n = 887) aged 40-79 years were compared with 1350 controls with diseases not related to smoking, of the same age, gender and date of admission as the cases. The prevalence of pet bird keeping was 12.5% in men and 19.1% in women. There was no association between ever keeping a pet bird and lung cancer in never smokers (men adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15-3.17; women, 1.32, 95% CI 0.65-2.70), or in smokers and non-smokers combined, after adjustment for ever smoking (men: 1.28, 95% CI 0.88-1.86; women: 1.17, 95% CI 0.83-1.64; all: 1.21, 95% CI 0.95-1.56). Risk did not increase in relation to duration of pet bird keeping. Cases and controls kept similar types of birds. There was a tenfold increase of lung cancer risk associated with smoking among non-bird keepers (adjusted OR = 9.15). There was no indication of a synergism, either additive or multiplicative, between smoking and pet bird keeping with respect to lung cancer risk. Either alone or in conjunction with smoking, keeping parakeets, canaries, finches or parrots is not a risk factor for lung cancer among hospital patients in New York and in Washington, DC.

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PURPOSE: To investigate the theory that keeping pet birds raises the risk of lung cancer DESIGN–Case-control study. Computerized interviews were employed to evaluate prior pet exposure as well as additional lung cancer risk factors. SETTING–Three major hospitals treating respiratory disease in former West Berlin. SUBJECTS: All individuals 65 years of age or younger who were recently diagnosed with a primary malignant neoplasm of the lung, bronchi, or trachea, and control subjects who were age and sex matched from the general population of the former West Berlin 279 cases and 635 controls met the study’s eligibility requirements; 239 cases and 429 controls took part. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The risk of lung cancer varies depending on whether pet birds were kept and how long they were kept as pets. RESULTS: Besides the risk of lung cancer posed by smoking, passive smoking, and exposure to carcinogens at work, there is also an elevated relative risk of two 14 (95% confidence interval 1. 35 to 3. 40) was found among people exposed to pet birds. For exposures lasting more than ten years, the adjusted odds ratio was 3. 19 (1. 48 to 8. 21). CONCLUSIONS–Avian exposure seems to carry a risk of lung cancer. Long-term indoor pet bird exposure should be avoided until the pathogenesis is known, particularly for those who are at a high risk of lung cancer.

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FAQ

Can keeping birds affect your lungs?

Psittacosis is an uncommon infectious disease that is most often transmitted to humans through exposure to infected birds, especially parrots, cockatiels, parakeets and similar pet birds. Psittacosis can affect the lungs and may cause inflammatory illness of the lungs (pneumonia).

What lung disease is caused by birds?

Bird Fancier’s Lung is a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an immunologically mediated lung disease due to repetitive exposure of air-borne avian antigen.

Can animals cause lung cancer?

Owning a pet was associated with a doubled risk of dying from lung cancer in women. Risk ratio of lung cancer death was 2.85 for owning cats, 2.67 for birds in women. Risk ratio for having dogs was closer to null [1.02 (95%CI=0.53–1.95)] in women. No significant association was obtained among men for any type of pets.

Do pet birds cause health problems?

Bird owners should be aware that although their pets might be highly intelligent and fun companions, they can sometimes carry germs that can make people sick. Although rare, germs from birds can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses.