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Domestic airborne pollutants and asthma and respiratory symptoms in middle age


Meszaros, D and Burgess, J and Walters, EH and Johns, D and Markos, J and Giles, G and Hopper, J and Abramson, M and Dharmage, SC and Matheson, M, Domestic airborne pollutants and asthma and respiratory symptoms in middle age, Respirology, 19, (3) pp. 411-418. ISSN 1323-7799 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/resp.12245


Background and objective: The role of indoor air pollution as a risk factor for asthma and respiratory symptoms in middle age is unclear. We investigated associations between indoor air pollution sources and (i) asthma phenotypes and (ii) asthma-related respiratory symptoms in middle-aged adults.

Methods: Subjects (n = 5729) who participated in the 2004 survey of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study completed respiratory and home environment questionnaires. Associations between indoor air pollution sources, and asthma phenotypes and asthma-related respiratory symptoms were estimated.

Results: Recent mould in the home was associated with current asthma (odds ratio (OR) 1.26; 95% confidence interval 1.061.50), wheeze (OR 1.34; 1.171.54) and nocturnal chest tightness (OR 1.30; 1.121.51). Stratified by atopy and gender, recent mould was associated with current non-atopic asthma only in males (OR 3.73; 1.2910.80). More rooms affected by mould were associated with significant trends for current asthma, wheeze and nocturnal chest tightness. Home environmental tobacco smoke was associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (OR 1.25; 1.021.53), wheeze (OR 1.69; 1.412.03), nocturnal chest tightness (OR 1.54; 1.261.88), with current asthma only in non-smokers (OR 2.09; 95%: 1.303.35) and with current asthma only in males (OR 1.74; 95%: 1.252.42). Among heating appliances, reverse cycle air conditioning was negatively associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (OR 0.84; 0.701.00). Neither electric nor gas stove use was associated with either asthma phenotype or with asthma-related respiratory symptoms.

Conclusions: In middle age, reducing home exposure to mould and environmental tobacco smoke might reduce asthma and asthma-related respiratory symptoms.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:asthma, cohort study, environmental tobacco smoke, mould, risk factor
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Meszaros, D (Dr Desiree Meszaros)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
UTAS Author:Johns, D (Associate Professor David Johns)
ID Code:95883
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-10-09
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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