What’s in Your Home Could Trigger Asthma

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What's in Your Home Could Trigger AsthmaHere’s a topic that’s been making the rounds in alternative health news: the possible link between household irritants like mold and asthma symptoms. There seems to be an ever-growing body of scientific evidence to link moldy, damp conditions in people’s homes to asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and upper respiratory tract problems.

Take, for example, this recent study performed at the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan. Researchers examined the links between asthma symptoms and residential hazards in a sample of households in Saginaw, Michigan.

The study involved 643 households randomly selected from the City of Saginaw. The researchers measured for 71 residential hazards. These hazards included: structural; moisture/mold; electrical; ventilation and combustion appliances; pests; pets; and lifestyle-associated factors such as smoking.

The researchers then used the data to calculate a sort of hazard index for each house. They also collected information on 43 symptoms of diseases likely to be associated with exposure to the household hazards.

Here’s what they found:

— Asthma prevalence rate among the 1,206 children was 18.9%, with 27.7% of households reporting at least one asthmatic child.

— The prevalence of health hazards in households of Saginaw was pervasively high with the rate for each of 29 specific hazards being over 30%.

— Household hazards were found to be good predictors of negative health outcomes in homes.

— Children who were living in housing units classified as high-risk (top 25% of the household hazard score) were found to be disproportionately afflicted with asthma, allergic reactions, and other symptoms compared to children who lived in low-risk homes.

— The average number of symptoms in the households was 14 and the top 25% of the households had over 26 symptoms.

— Asthma was associated with each of the 40 symptoms (out of the 43) in the inventory scale used by the researchers.

The researchers concluded that the obvious link between asthmatic children and hazards within the home such as mold should be taken into account when trying to treat or manage the condition.

If you are having trouble with your breathing, do your lungs a favor and follow this health advice: make sure you eliminate as many household hazards as you can, including mold.

For another alternative way to combat asthma, read The Two Most Common Aggravators of Asthma.

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