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Arch Environ Health. 1996 Jan-Feb;51(1):42-6.

Home dampness and childhood respiratory symptoms in a subtropical climate.

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Division of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Republic of China.


The association between measures of home dampness and symptoms of respiratory illness was evaluated in 1 340 8- to 12-y-old children in the Taipei area. The following were reported to occur in the homes: self-dampness (i.e., home considered damp by residents), 36.8% of the homes; "classified" dampness (i.e., presence of mold, water damage, or flooding), 72.3%; visible mold, 38.3%; stuffy odor, 33.9%; water damage, 47.8%; and flooding, 15.1%. Moreover, the prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was consistently higher in homes for which the occurrence of molds or dampness was reported. The adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.37 (95% confidence interval: 1.03-1.83) for allergic rhinitis to 5.74 (95% confidence interval: 2.20-14.95) for cough. In addition, the observed high prevalence of home dampness/mold indicated that dampness in the home was very common in the subtropical region studied, and home dampness was a strong predictor of respiratory symptoms.

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