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Cockroach allergens in homes associated with prevalence of childhood asthma in some neighborhoods
Date:5/17/2011

n: 23.7% versus 10.8%. However, there was no significant difference by neighborhood in sensitization mouse and cat antigens.

"Our findings demonstrate the relevance of exposure and sensitization to cockroach, mouse, dust mite, and cat in an urban community and suggest that cockroach allergen exposure could contribute to the higher asthma prevalence observed in some New York City neighborhoods," said Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences and senior author.

"Although the relationships between allergen levels and household demographics have been examined in the U. S. on a national level, an advantage to focusing on a single city is the decreasing likelihood of confounding by regional differences, such as building types or climate," he noted.

Dr. Perzanowski also stresses that in this study of middle-income families in New York City it was a child's neighborhood income that was more important in predicting the likelihood of exposure to pests in the home than family income.

"In summary, significant differences in allergen exposure in homes throughout New York City have been demonstrated with this unique study cohort:

  • cockroach allergen was higher in the homes of the high asthma prevalence neighborhoods,
  • cockroach sensitization was higher among children living in neighborhoods with high rates of asthma,
  • cockroach allergen exposure was associated with sensitization, and
  • cockroach sensitization was associated with increased risk for asthma.

These findings combined point to cockroach allergen exposure potentially leading to a higher prevalence of asthma in some urban neighborhoods," said Dr. Perzanowski.


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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