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Dogs may protect children against Crohn's disease – study
The study suggests that exposure to dogs could protect children against Crohn's disease later in life.
Survey analysis reveals link between dogs in the household and healthy gut permeability.

Children that grow up with dogs may have some protection from Crohn's disease later in life, according to new research.

The study, presented at Digestive Disease Week on Monday (23 May), analysed responses to a questionnaire sent to some 4,300 first-degree relatives of people with Crohn's disease. 

The team analysed several environmental factors, including family size, the presence of dogs or cats in the household and the number of bathrooms. The analysis also included age at the time of exposure. 

Their findings show that exposure to dogs, especially between the ages of five and 15, was associated with healthy gut permeability and balance between the gut microbes and the body's immune response – all of which may protect against Crohn's disease. 
The team noticed a similar trend with exposure to dogs across all age groups.

Dr Williams Turpin, senior author and research associate with Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, explains:  “It could potentially be because dog owners get outside more often with their pets or live in areas with more green space, which has been shown previously to protect against Crohn’s.”  

The scientists hope their findings may help doctors determine which patients may be at greater risk of developing Crohn's. However, they stress that the reasons why dog ownership appears to protect against the disease remain unclear. 

New research by Crohn's and Colitis UK shows that more than half a million people (one in 123) in the country live with the conditions. It most often develops in young people, smokers, and those who have a close family member with irritable bowel disease.

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Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

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News Shorts
Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.