Study: Allergen Levels in Homes and Asthma Status

In a study published in the February 13th on-line edition of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers characterized the overall burden to multiple allergens and examined whether increased allergen levels were associated with occupants’ asthma status. This cross sectional study surveyed a nationally representative sample of 831 housing units in 75 different locations throughout the United States. Information was collected by means of questionnaire and environmental assessment. Allergen concentrations in dust samples were assessed and allergen burden was considered high when 4 or more allergens exceeded increased levels in any of the sampling locations. Results showed that exposure to multiple allergens was common in U.S. homes. Of the surveyed homes, 51.5% had at least 6 detectable allergens and 45.8% had at least 3 allergens exceeding increased levels. Among atopic subjects, high allergen burden increased the odds of having asthma symptoms. The authors concluded that increased allergen levels in the home are associated with asthma symptoms in allergic individuals.

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