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Acta Paediatr. 2004 Jul;93(7):899-905.

Indoor exposures and recurrent wheezing in infants: a study in the BAMSE cohort.

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  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Stockholm County Council, Sweden. gunnel.emenius@smd.sll.se



The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between indoor exposures and the home environment, and the development of recurrent wheezing during infancy.


A birth cohort, comprising 4089 children, was followed. Information on exposures was obtained shortly after birth, and episodes of wheezing were recorded when the infants were 1 and 2 y of age. In a nested case-control study, 181 infants were enrolled, who had three or more reported episodes of wheezing after 3 mo of age combined with either use of inhaled steroids or symptoms of bronchial hyper-reactivity, and 359 age-matched controls. Home inspections were performed during the winter following enrolment, and indoor conditions were measured.


Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. The OR for recurrent infant wheezing associated with signs of dampness reported prospectively by parents was 1.4 (0.9-2.2), and the OR for observed signs of dampness at home inspections was 1.6 (1.0-2.5). A trend was found in the risk of recurrent wheezing in relation to the number of indicators of dampness: OR 1.3 (0.8-2.2) for one sign of dampness and OR 2.7 (1.3-5.4) for three or more signs of dampness. Newly painted surfaces in the child's bedroom was associated with an increased OR for recurrent wheezing: 1.7 (1.3-2.6).


Indicators of dampness, as well as recently repainted interior surfaces, appear to be associated with recurrent infant wheezing, with a strengthened effect of combined indoor exposures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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