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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009 Feb;102(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60243-8.

Mold exposure during infancy as a predictor of potential asthma development.

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Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0056, USA.



Exposure to mold has been associated with exacerbation of asthma symptoms in children.


To report how the presence of visible mold and exposure to (1-3)-beta-D-glucan in infancy affects the risk of asthma at the age of 3 years as defined by an Asthma Predictive Index (API).


Visible mold was evaluated by means of home inspection. (1-3)-beta-D-glucan levels were measured in settled dust. Children were considered to be at high risk for asthma at later ages if they reported recurrent wheezing at the age of 3 years and met at least 1 of 3 major or 2 of 3 minor API criteria.


Children aged 3 years with high visible mold in the home during infancy were 7 times more likely to have a positive API than were those with no visible mold (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 7.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-12.6). In contrast, at low (1-3)-beta-D-glucan levels (< 22 microg/g), children were at increased risk of a positive API (aOR, 3.4; 95% CI, 0.5-23.5), whereas those with high (1-3)-beta-D-glucan levels (> 133 microg/g) were at decreased risk (aOR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.2-1.6). Of the other covariates, mother's smoking was the strongest significant risk factor for the future development of asthma based on a positive API (aOR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.7-11.6).


The presence of high visible mold and mother's smoking during infancy were the strongest risk factors for a positive API at the age of 3 years, suggesting an increased risk of asthma. High (1-3)-beta-D-glucan exposure seems to have an opposite effect on API than does visible mold.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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