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Role of timing of exposure to pets and dampness or mould on asthma and sensitization in adolescence

Milanzi, E. B., Koppelman, G. H., Smit, H. A., Wijga, A. H., Vonk, J. M., Brunekreef, B. & Gehring, U., 18-Aug-2019, In : Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 10 p.

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BACKGROUND: Pet and dampness or mould exposure are considered risk factors for asthma and sensitization. It is unclear whether timing of exposure to these factors is differentially associated with asthma risk and sensitization in adolescence.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the role of timing of pet and dampness or mould exposure in asthma and sensitization in adolescence. Understanding this role is essential to build targeted prevention strategies.

METHODS: We used data from 1871 participants of the Dutch Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) cohort. Residential exposure to pets, dampness or mould was assessed by repeated parental questionnaires. We used asthma data from the 17-year questionnaire and sensitization data from the 16-year medical examination. We characterized timing using longitudinal exposure patterns from pregnancy till age 17 using longitudinal latent class growth modelling. We used logistic regression models to analyse associations of exposure patterns with asthma at age 17 and sensitization at age 16.

RESULTS: For none of the time windows, exposure to pets and dampness or mould was associated with asthma at age 17, but a lower sensitization risk at age 16 was suggested, for example the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for sensitization was 0.63 (0.35-1.11) and 0.69 (0.44-1.08) for early life and persistently high pet exposure, respectively, compared with very low exposure. An inverse association was also suggested for sensitization and moderate early childhood dampness or mould exposure (0.71 [0.42-1.19]).

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Different timing of pet and dampness or mould exposure was not associated with asthma, but lower risk of sensitization in adolescence was suggested, which could be partly attributable to reversed causation. Current findings are not sufficient to recommend pet avoidance to prevent allergic disease. More prospective studies are needed to obtain insights that can be used in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Early online date23-Jul-2019
Publication statusPublished - 18-Aug-2019

    Keywords

  • adolescence, asthma, dampness and mould, pets, sensitization, HAY-FEVER, ALLERGIC SENSITIZATION, RESPIRATORY HEALTH, FARMERS CHILDREN, ENDOTOXIN LEVELS, HOUSE-DUST, 1ST YEAR, BIRTH, RISK, CHILDHOOD

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