Exposure in Inner Cities Varies
to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), inner
city children with asthma are exposed to significantly different
levels of indoor allergens depending on the area of the country
and type of home in which they live.
is an increasing prevalence of asthma in Children living in inner
that are exposed to major indoor allergens,
such as dust mites, pets and cockroaches. These findings are featured
in the March 2005 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology
(JACI). Gruchalla, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, and researchers with the Inner
City Asthma Study examined the relationship between indoor allergen
exposure, skin test reactivity and asthma symptoms in children
living in inner cities located in different geographic locations
across the United States. Skin tests were administered to 937 children
with moderate to severe asthma.
Inner City Allergen Research Findings
Allergen levels varied dramatically across the inner cities studied.
Among the findings:
exposure and sensitivity were highest in the Northeast, with
levels found in New York City.
of dust mite allergen were the highest in the South and Northwest,
in Seattle and Dallas.
allergen levels were significantly higher in high rise apartments.
- Dust mite
levels were significantly higher in detached homes.
Researchers found that children whose asthma symptoms were triggered
by exposure to cockroach allergen were impacted more strongly than
with exposure to dust mite allergen. The children whose asthma
symptoms were triggered by exposure to cockroach allergen displayed
more asthma symptoms, missed more school, and made more unscheduled
trips to their doctor because of their asthma.
While researchers did not find this same kind of relationship
between dust mites and asthma, their findings do suggest that children
allergic to and exposed to dog and cat allergen have more unscheduled
asthma healthcare visits than children not exposed and/or who are
The Inner City Asthma Study showed that inner city children with
asthma are exposed to significantly different levels of indoor
allergens depending on what area of the country and type of home
they live in. Their findings also suggest that cockroaches have
the greatest effect on asthma morbidity among children living in
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