Journal Article

Symptoms of Wheeze and Persistent Cough in the First Year of Life: Associations with Indoor Allergens, Air Contaminants, and Maternal History of Asthma

Kathleen Belanger, William Beckett, Elizabeth Triche, Michael B. Bracken, Theodore Holford, Ping Ren, Jean-ellen McSharry, Diane R. Gold, Thomas A. E. Platts-Mills and Brian P. Leaderer

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 3, pages 195-202
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg148
Symptoms of Wheeze and Persistent Cough in the First Year of Life: Associations with Indoor Allergens, Air Contaminants, and Maternal History of Asthma

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In a cohort of 849 infants with an asthmatic sibling, the authors examined the relations of exposure to allergens (dust mite, cockroach, cat, and dog), nitrogen dioxide, and mold with symptoms of wheeze and persistent cough in the first year of life (1998–2000). Among infants whose mothers had physician-diagnosed asthma, neither dust mite allergen nor dog allergen was associated with either symptom. Exposure to cockroach allergen (Bla g 1 at ≥2 U/g) modestly increased the risk for wheeze (odds ratio (OR) = 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.94, 3.71), and exposure to cat allergen modestly decreased the risk (OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.35, 1.03). Among infants of mothers with no asthma history, exposure to gas stoves (OR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.05, 2.15) and wood-burning stoves (OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.12, 3.91) increased the risk of persistent cough. Similarly, measured nitrogen dioxide concentration was associated with persistent cough (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.40). Persistent mold affected both infants of mothers with asthma (for wheeze, OR = 2.27, 95% CI: 1.27, 4.07; for cough, OR = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.04, 3.22) and infants of mothers without asthma (for cough, OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.31). Reported exposure was confirmed by an association of measured fungi with wheeze (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.49). This appears to have been the first study to measure all of these home exposures (indoor allergens, nitrogen dioxide, fungi) and to prospectively measure the frequency of infant wheeze and persistent cough.

Keywords: allergens; cockroaches; cough; dust; fungi; infant; nitrogen dioxide; respiratory sounds; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  5410 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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