Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma

04.03.2008
Results from a new national survey demonstrate that elevated allergen levels in the home are associated with asthma symptoms in allergic individuals.

The study suggests that asthmatics that have allergies may alleviate symptoms by reducing allergen exposures inside their homes. The work was carried out by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the University of Iowa, Rho Inc., and the Constella Group. The team’s findings may help millions of Americans who suffer from asthma.

“Indoor allergen exposures are of great importance in relation to asthma because most people spend a majority of their time indoors, especially at home,” said Darryl Zeldin, M.D., a Principal Investigator in the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology at NIEHS and senior author on the paper.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic ailments in the United States, affecting more than 22 million people. Asthma has been shown to be triggered by a wide range of substances called allergens.

The findings, published online and available in the March issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, show that exposure to multiple indoor allergens was common in U.S. households with 52 percent having at least six detectable allergens and 46 percent having three or more allergens at increased levels. The indoor allergens studied included those from dog, cat, mouse, cockroach, dust mite, and the fungus Alternaria.

The researchers used data from the National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing (NSLAH) to examine factors that contribute to high allergen levels in homes and to determine whether elevated household allergen levels were associated with occupants’ asthma status. The NSLAH, which was the first study to characterize how allergen exposures vary in homes at the national level, surveyed the homes of nearly 2500 individuals in 75 locations throughout the U.S. The survey was jointly funded by the NIEHS and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Several factors were found to contribute to the increased concentrations of allergens, including race, income, type of home, and sources of allergens, such as presence of pets and pests. The study also showed that homes with children were less likely to have high allergen levels. The authors noted that this finding may not be surprising since homes with children may be cleaned more frequently than homes without children. Regular household cleaning is a simple yet effective regimen that helps to reduce the overall exposure burden.

According to lead researcher Päivi Salo, Ph.D., of NIEHS, the study provides useful information to asthma patients. "Our results highlight the importance of reducing exposure to allergens as a fundamental part of asthma management,” she said. “Although homes cannot be made allergen free, asthmatics that have allergies may need to do a better job in reducing allergen levels in their homes to improve asthma control.”

This finding is the first to provide information on total allergen burden in U.S. homes and how it relates to asthma. “This study confirms that indoor allergens play a major role in asthma,” Zeldin stated.

Salo and her co-authors, however, point out that more research is needed to understand the complex relationships between genetic and environmental factors that cause asthma, particularly the role that indoor allergen exposure plays in the development of asthma. “Although reducing allergen levels in the home may not prevent individuals from developing asthma, reducing exposure levels is crucial for those whose asthma is allergic in nature.” Zeldin concluded.

Robin Mackar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov
http://www.nih.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>