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Bird ownership and pulmonary outcomes apart from hypersensitivity pneumonitis in European older adults.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to birds has been linked with several lung pathologies and especially hypersensitivity pneumonitis, but discordant literature exist on the potential effects of this exposure on other respiratory pathologies.

AIM: This study aims to examine the associations between bird ownership and asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in older European adults.

METHODS: A total of 28,109 participants from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe were employed and analyzed with multivariate logistic regressions.

RESULTS: No association was found with asthma or lung cancer. Bird ownership increased the odds for COPD diagnosis (OR=1.30; 95 % CI: 1.12-1.51) and more so in males (OR=1.53; 95 % CI: 1.25-1.87) after adjustment for demographic, respiratory, lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors. Male bird owners who smoke had an even more increased risk compared to non-smokers, as did those who lived in multi-person households compared to those living alone.

CONCLUSION: Bird ownership may be positively associated with COPD in older European males.

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