Respiratory Symptoms and Housing Characteristics



A health and housing questionnaire was administered to children, ages 9-11, living in 24 communities in the United States and Canada. Logistic regression analysis examined the relationship between respiratory health symptoms (bronchitic, asthmatic and lower respiratory) and housing factors. The health risks (expressed as relative odds) were controlled for gender, parental asthma, parental chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and parental education, as well as between-city differences. Lower respiratory symptoms had significantly higher odds ratios reported in older homes (1.12), homes with smokers (1.24), air conditioners (1.14), air cleaners (1.37), and humidifiers (1.47). Home dampness (1.48) and the individual mold and water variables were all significantly associated with increased symptoms. Similar results were reported for bronchitic and asthmatic symptoms. While air conditioners and air cleaners were confounded with symptoms, humidifiers remained significant after controlling for childhood atopy.