Onset of mucosal, dermal, and general symptoms in relation to biomarkers and exposures in the dwelling: a cohort study from 1992 to 2002.
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CitationIndoor Air 2012, 22(4):331-8
AbstractAbstract We examined the associations between biomarkers of allergy and inflammation, indoor environment in dwellings, and incidence and remission of symptoms included in the sick building syndrome (SBS) and changes in the home environment of 452 adults who were followed from 1992 to 2002 within the Uppsala part of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). The 10-year incidence (onset) of general, mucosal, and dermal symptoms was 8.5%, 12.7%, and 6.8%, respectively. Dampness or indoor molds at baseline was a predictor of incidence of general (relative risk [RR] = 1.98), mucosal (RR = 2.28), and dermal symptoms (RR = 1.91). Women had higher incidence of general (RR = 1.74) and mucosal symptoms (RR = 1.71). Indoor painting increased the incidence of general symptoms (RR = 1.62). Bronchial responsiveness (BR), eosinophil counts in blood, total IgE and eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP) in serum at baseline were predictors of incidence of SBS. At follow-up, BR, total IgE, and C-reactive protein (CRP ) were associated with increased incidence of SBS. Moreover, subjects with doctor-diagnosed asthma at baseline had a higher incidence of general (RR = 1.65) and mucosal symptoms (RR = 1.97). In conclusion, female gender, dampness or indoor molds, indoor painting, and biomarkers of allergy and inflammation were associated with a higher incidence of SBS symptoms, in particular mucosal symptoms. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The focus in Sweden on indoor environment issues over the last few decades has resulted in improvements in dwellings, and reduced tobacco smoking, which could be beneficial for public health. Reducing dampness and molds in the dwelling place is another important way of reducing occurrence of SBS symptoms in the general adult population. The association between the incidence of SBS symptoms and clinical biomarkers of allergy and inflammation suggests a common etiology between inflammatory diseases, including asthma, rhinitis, and SBS. Lastly, good agreement between self-reported and clinically diagnosed atopy indicates that questionnaire data on atopy can be used in epidemiological studies.
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