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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Aug;99(2):122-9.

Different effects of sensitization to mites and pollens on asthma symptoms and spirometric indices in children: a population-based cohort study.

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  • 1Respiratory Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Patras, Rio-Patras, Greece. manthra@otenet.gr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We have previously shown that long-term exposure of children to a highly polluted urban compared with a rural environment is associated with subclinical airway narrowing and increased prevalence of atopy.

OBJECTIVE:

To test the hypothesis that sensitization to indoor perennial, compared with seasonal, aeroallergens has distinct effects on asthma symptoms and/or spirometric indices.

METHODS:

We evaluated the respiratory health of 478 and 342 children aged 8 to 10 years living in an urban and a rural area, respectively, during a period of 8 years. Children were evaluated by parental questionnaire in 3 phases, 1995 to 1996 (phase 1), 1999 to 2000 (phase 2), and 2003 to 2004 (phase 3), and by spirometry and skin prick testing to 9 common local aeroallergens in phases 1 and 2.

RESULTS:

Sensitization to pollens was associated with current wheezing in phase 1 of the study (odds ratio [OR], 3.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71 to 6.62; P < .001) but not with spirometric indices. Sensitization to mites was negatively associated with forced expiratory volume in 1 second (95% CI, -7.26 to -0.90; P = .01) and forced expiratory flow at 50% of forced vital capacity (95% CI, -10.80 to -1.33; P = .01) in study phase 1 but not in phase 2.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results indicate that sensitization to mites is associated with insidious involvement of large and small airways, whereas sensitization to pollens is associated with childhood wheezing at the age of 8 to 10 years. Subsequent loss of these associations implies that risk factors other than allergy influence airway disease at a later age.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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