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Can a housing environmental index establish associations between indoor risk indicators and clinical tests in persons with asthma?

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The aim was to investigate the associations between indoor risk indicators, identified by a housing environmental index (HE-index), and clinical tests of lung function, allergy and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR). Forty-nine eligible subjects participated in the investigation. The HE-index was based on national and international guidelines and related to measurements of humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, allergens and occurrence of tobacco smoke and pets. Only 18% of the investigated homes did not have any of the risk indicators. Statistically significant associations were found between exposure to mites and lung function, and to a lesser degree in BHR for subjects living in homes with pets. The cut-off levels in the HE-index were not specifically related to health effects and may therefore have been too high for sensitive persons. Further studies are needed to establish relevant guidelines for the identification of risk indicators in the housing environment for persons with asthma.
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Keywords: asthma; clinical tests; index risk indicators; indoor climate

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden,School of Health and Medical Sciences, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden 2: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden,Department of Technology, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden 3: School of Health and Medical Sciences, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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