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Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma
Date:2/29/2008

tment 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 Pivi 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.


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Contact: Robin Mackar
rmackar@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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