Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006 Oct;97(4):502-13.

Determinants of cockroach and mouse exposure and associations with asthma in families and elderly individuals living in New York City public housing.

Author information

  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



Asthma prevalence is high in the inner city, and morbidity has been associated with cockroach and mouse allergens.


To characterize the relationships among pests, allergens, pesticides, and asthma in New York City public housing.


In 324 apartments, dust samples collected from beds and kitchens were analyzed for cockroach (Bla g 2) and mouse (mouse urinary protein [MUP]) allergens, pest populations were monitored, and residents were interviewed about home characteristics and asthma symptoms.


Cockroaches were found in 77% of the apartments, and evidence of mice was found in 13%. Allergens and pesticide use were associated with pest infestation, and 15% of residents reported using illegal pesticides. The percentage of apartments with high allergen levels varied significantly by building (Bla g 2: P = .002; MUP: P = .03), as did the percentage of apartments with cockroaches (P = .002) and daily mouse sightings (P = .02). Thirty-seven percent of the apartments had at least 1 resident with physician-diagnosed asthma. In family buildings, apartments with high Bla g 2 levels had 1.7 times greater odds of having an asthmatic resident (95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.3). In senior citizen buildings, apartments with high MUP levels had 6.6 times greater odds of having an asthmatic resident (95% confidence interval, 1.4-31.7), controlling for smoking and other potential confounders.


Previous studies have identified home characteristics associated with the presence of cockroaches and mice, but the present findings suggest that building-level characteristics can affect high pest exposure. Furthermore, the high asthma prevalence in residents and the use of illegal pesticides highlight the need for safe and effective building-wide pest control strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk