Dampness key cause of asthma in children

June 27, 2013, University of Otago

Dampness key cause of asthma in children
(Medical Xpress)—The largest-ever worldwide study of the link between damp homes and respiratory and allergic conditions has significant implications for New Zealand children's health.

The study is from phase two of a worldwide collaboration, the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), involving 46,000 children in 20 countries, and provides extensive evidence that living in damp or mouldy homes is associated with asthma, allergies, and eczema.

Levels of house dust mites were also higher in damp homes and children were more likely to become allergic to house dust mites in damp homes, but the increased levels of house dust mites were not associated with wheezing.

Instead, it is dampness itself that appears to be the problem, say University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers involved in the study.

"The associations were found regardless of how affluent the countries were, and were not associated with allergy itself, suggesting that these effects are not as a result of allergy to moulds or house ," UOW researcher Professor Julian Crane says.

Furthermore, if a child already has asthma it is made more severe by dampness and mould in the home, he says.

The study, which included a New Zealand centre, has significant implications for New Zealand and the current emphasis on children's health and welfare, says Professor Crane.

"It is perhaps not surprising given this data that we have so much serious respiratory illness in children in New Zealand - we have such poor quality housing and so many children living in damp, cold, mouldy poorly heated often rented accommodation."

He says Government and health professionals have largely ignored these problems until recently and hopes the study will prompt further action.

"For the of children - which is the major cause of and time lost from school - dampness and mould is the rogue elephant in their homes. Dry warm homes would significantly reduce this major disease burden."

The study has been published in the latest issue of Clinical and Experimental Allergy.

Explore further: End your child's allergy suffering within three years

Related Stories

End your child's allergy suffering within three years

October 1, 2012
When children suffer from dust mite induced allergies and asthma, finding relief can seem impossible. While there isn't a complete cure for childhood respiratory allergies, researchers have found that long term control of ...

Assessing the impact of indoor air pollution on Europeans

May 7, 2013
The health impact of indoor air pollution is a real environmental health issue, which is believed to have a bearing on respiratory conditions such as asthma. This has prompted a European study to take action. While outdoor ...

House dust mite test on wheezy toddlers predicts asthma in teen years

August 24, 2011
Wheezy toddlers who have a sensitivity to house dust mites are more at risk of developing asthma by the age of 12, a University of Melbourne led study has shown.

Children with milk allergy may be 'allergic to school'

May 2, 2013
Many of today's school teachers opt for dustless chalk to keep hands and classrooms clean. But according to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American ...

Living in US raises risk of allergies, study shows

April 29, 2013
Children born outside the United States have a lower risk of asthma, skin and food allergies, and living in the United States for a decade may raise a person's allergy risk, said a study on Monday.

Dog-associated house dust protects against respiratory infection linked to asthma

June 19, 2012
House dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that is associated with the development of asthma in children. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, ...

Recommended for you

Juul e-cigarettes pose addiction risk for young users, study finds

October 19, 2018
Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product's addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by ...

Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects

October 19, 2018
Adding highly refined fiber to processed foods could have negative effects on human health, such as promoting liver cancer, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Toledo.

Self-lubricating latex could boost condom use: study

October 17, 2018
A perpetually unctuous, self-lubricating latex developed by a team of scientists in Boston could boost the use of condoms, they reported Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

How healthy will we be in 2040?

October 17, 2018
A new scientific study of forecasts and alternative scenarios for life expectancy and major causes of death in 2040 shows all countries are likely to experience at least a slight increase in lifespans. In contrast, one scenario ...

Adequate consumption of 'longevity' vitamins could prolong healthy aging, nutrition scientist says

October 16, 2018
A detailed new review of nutritional science argues that most American diets are deficient in a key class of vitamins and minerals that play previously unrecognized roles in promoting longevity and in staving off chronic ...

Study finds evidence of intergenerational transmission of trauma among ex-POWs from the Civil War

October 16, 2018
A trio of researchers affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research has found evidence that suggests men who were traumatized while POWs during the U.S. Civil War transmitted that trauma to their offspring—many ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.