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Relationship between indoor environment and asthma and wheeze severity among rural children and adolescents.

Lawson-JA; Dosman-JA; Rennie-DC; Beach-J; Newman-SC; Senthilselvan-A
J Agromed 2009 Apr; 14(2):277-285
Few studies have examined the associations between environmental characteristics and asthma severity among children in a rural setting. The authors studied these associations using a number of asthma severity indicators. They conducted a case-control study of 6- to 18-year-old children and adolescents in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, and the surrounding area. Only cases representing subjects reporting wheeze in the past 12 months or doctor-diagnosed asthma were used for the present analysis (n = 98). Data were collected by questionnaire, while vacuumed dust (mattress and play area floor) was used for the quantification of endotoxin exposure, and saliva was used for the measurement of cotinine to assess tobacco smoke exposure. Severity indicators included wheeze frequency, breathing medication use, sleep disruption from wheeze, and school absenteeism, all in the past 12 months. A majority of cases were male (62.3%). Wheezing 1 to 3 times was reported by 40.8% of cases, whereas 17.3% wheezed 4 or more times in the past 12 months. Short-acting beta agonist medications or inhaled corticosteroids alone were used by 24.5% of the cases, whereas 33.7% of the cases used multiple or additional breathing medications. Sleep disruption was reported by 28.6% of the cases, whereas 12.2% reported at least one school absence. High tobacco smoke exposure was associated with increased wheeze frequency. There was an inverse association between play area endotoxin concentration and school absenteeism, with some indication of interaction with tobacco smoke exposure. House-cleaning behaviors and changes in health behaviors resulting from the child's respiratory condition were different between those with and without report of sleep disruption due to wheeze. Several environmental variables were associated with severity indicators. However, the associations were not consistent between indicators, suggesting that other factors or changes in behavior resulting from the disease should be considered when assessing these associations.
Age-groups; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Children; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Dust-particles; Endotoxins; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health-monitoring; Environmental-pollution; Health-hazards; Lung-disorders; Lung-irritants; Particle-aerodynamics; Particulates; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Quantitative-analysis; Questionnaires; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-infections; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Risk-factors; Sleep-deprivation; Statistical-analysis; Tobacco-smoke; Author Keywords: Asthma; breathing medication; children and adolescents; cotinine; endotoxin; rural; school absenteeism; tobacco smoke exposure; wheeze
Joshua A. Lawson, PhD, 3641-103 Hospital Drive, Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 0W8
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Journal Article
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Journal of Agromedicine
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Marshfield Clinic
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division