'Dampness' at home and its association with airway, nose, and skin symptoms among 10,851 preschool children in Sweden: a cross-sectional study

Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, Jan Sundell, L. Hagerhed-Engman, T. Sigsggard, S. Janson, N. Aberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

There is convincing epidemiological evidence that 'dampness' in buildings is associated with respiratory effects. In order to identify health-relevant exposures in buildings with 'dampness', the study 'Dampness in Buildings and Health' (DBH) was initiated. In the first step of the study, cross-sectional data on home characteristics including 'dampness' problems, and symptoms in airway, nose, and skin among 10,851 children (1-6 years), were collected by means of a questionnaire to the parents. The prevalence of wheezing during the last 12 months was 18.9% and doctor-diagnosed asthma 5.4%. Rhinitis during the last 12 months was reported for 11.1% of the children and eczema during the last 12 months 18.7%. Gender, allergic symptoms among parents, and age of the child were associated with symptoms. Water leakage was reported in 17.8% of the buildings, condensation on windows in 14.3%, and detached flooring materials in 8.3%. Visible mould or damp spots were reported in only 1.5% of the buildings. The four 'dampness' indices were associated to higher prevalence of symptoms in both crude and adjusted analysis. Furthermore, it was found that the combination of water leakage in the home and PVC as flooring material in the child's or parent's bedroom was associated to higher prevalence of symptoms among children. However, the interpretation of this finding is unclear. The combination of water leakage and PVC may be a proxy, for example, reconstruction because of water damages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Volume15
Pages (from-to)48-55
ISSN0905-6947
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • rhinitis
  • asthma
  • children
  • dampness
  • eczema

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