Indoor dampness and molds and development of adult-onset asthma: a
population-based incident case-control study.
Jaakkola MS, Nordman H, Piipari R, Uitti J, Laitinen J, Karjalainen A,
Hahtola P, Jaakkola JJ.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
Previous cross-sectional and prevalent case-control studies have
suggested increased risk of asthma in adults related to dampness
problems and molds in homes. We conducted a population-based incident
case-control study to assess the effects of indoor dampness problems
and molds at work and at home on development of asthma in adults. We
recruited systematically all new cases of asthma during a 2.5-year
study period (1997-2000) and randomly selected controls from a source
population consisting of adults 21-63 years old living in the
Pirkanmaa Hospital district, South Finland. The clinically diagnosed case series
consisted of 521 adults with newly diagnosed asthma and the control
series of 932 controls, after we excluded 76 (7.5%) controls with a
history of asthma. In logistic regression analysis adjusting for
confounders, the risk of asthma was related to the presence of visible
mold and/or mold odor in the workplace (odds ratio, 1.54; 95%
confidence interval, 1.01-2.32) but not to water damage or damp stains alone. We
estimated the fraction of asthma attributable to workplace mold
exposure to be 35.1% (95% confidence interval, 1.0-56.9%) among the exposed.
Present results provide new evidence of the relation between workplace
exposure to indoor molds and adult-onset asthma.
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