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Indoor Air. 1999 Jun;9(2):92-102.

Allergic and non-allergic students' perception of the same high school environment.

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Kristianstad University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to describe how allergics and non-allergics perceive the same environment. All high school students in a town in southern Sweden were invited to answer a questionnaire concerning allergy, subjective symptoms, annoyance reactions and perception of the environment (response rate: 81%). The results show that only 45% of the students were non-allergic (n = 1,715). Since the symptom frequency among non-allergic students was normal, the schools were classified as healthy. However, compared to the non-allergic students, a higher percentage among the allergics suffered from symptoms every week, a lower percentage was satisfied with the air quality and the cleaning, and a higher percentage was bothered every week by temperature, stuffy/stale air, bad odor, passive smoke, bad lighting, noise, dust and dirt (ANOVA, P < 0.05). The findings could indicate that allergics note discomfort earlier than non-allergics by being more critical in general and especially critical to factors that could effect their health. The findings could also indicate that awareness of ones own sensitivity could lead to attention to different risk factors, which in turn could lead to stress/anxiety, which could make symptoms worse. The conclusion is that it is important to take allergy into consideration when the environment is assessed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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