P>A cross-sectional study was carried out at Tianjin University campus, China, from February 21 to June 10, 2006, to survey the association between dampness in dorms, and allergy and airways infections among college students. The health and dampness conditions were self-reported by 3436 students living in 1511 dorm rooms located in 13 buildings on the campus. The buildings were selected according to their positions, construction periods and occupant densities. The symptoms involved wheezing, dry cough during night, rhinitis, eczema, cold/flu, ear inflammation, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The indoor moisture signs were mould/damp spots on walls, ceilings and floors; suspected or ever happened water damage; condensation on windowpane in winter and odours perceived by subjects themselves. There was a significant positive association between condensation and dry cough. Eczema was often reported in rooms with moisture problem. Dampness was a significant risk factor for common cold.Practical Implications Dampness problems in dorms of Chinese students are a risk factor for allergic symptoms, and hence there is a need for dorm environment improvement. Health problems related to ventilation and microbiology problems in dorms should be further studied.
- Dorm environment
- Airways infection