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Respiratory morbidity and medical visits associated with dampness and air-conditioning in offices and homes.

Authors
Sahakian-N; Park-J-H; Cox-Ganser-J
Source
Indoor Air 2009 Feb; 19(1):58-67
NIOSHTIC No.
20034952
Abstract
We used data from 4345 adult US residents who were part of a 2004 national random mail survey to investigate associations between dampness and air-conditioning (AC) in homes and offices, and health outcomes, sick leave due to respiratory symptoms and medical visits during the past 12 months. We identified from this group 1396 office workers employed in professional, executive, administrative, managerial or administrative support occupations. Office workers reporting home dampness had an elevated prevalence of nasal symptoms [prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.4, P = 0.01] and constitutional symptoms (PR = 1.3, P = 0.01) in the previous year. Office workers reporting workplace dampness had an elevated prevalence of sick leave attributed to respiratory symptoms (PR = 1.3, P = 0.04) in the previous year. Office workers with home AC were more likely to have visited a medical specialist in the previous year (PR = 1.3, P = 0.02). We did not find any statistically significant associations between workplace AC and any of the health outcomes. We estimated an annual cost of US$1.4 billion for excess respiratory-related sick leave among office workers with workplace dampness. Our study strengthens the evidence of a relationship between dampness and health effects, and highlights the resulting economic impact.
Keywords
Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Molds; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Office-workers; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Morbidity-rates; Humans; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: Indoor air quality; Mold; Ventilation; Air-conditioning; Office buildings; Asthma; Respiratory symptoms; Sick leave; Healthcare visits
Contact
Nancy Sahakian, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, United States Public Health Service, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mailstop H2800, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
CODEN
INAIE5
Publication Date
20090201
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
nsahakian@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2009
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0905-6947
NIOSH Division
DRDS
Priority Area
Services
Source Name
Indoor Air
State
WV
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