Asthma and Rhinitis among Adults in Sweden and China : Risk Factors in the Home Environment
Sammanfattning: The main aim of this thesis was to evaluate associations between selected home environment factors and asthma, rhinitis and respiratory symptoms among adults from Sweden, China and northern Europe. Two studies were performed in Sweden, one in China, and one longitudinal cohort study was performed in northern Europe. Dampness/mould was common, and was a main risk factor in all studies. Other risk factors for asthma symptoms in Sweden included window pane condensation in winter, multi-family buildings constructed from 1961-1975, rented apartments, environment tobacco smoke (ETS), and living in a colder climate zone. Higher ventilation flow in Sweden was associated with less asthma symptoms. Risk factors for rhinitis in Sweden included window pane condensation, a higher moisture load, concrete slab foundation constructed before 1991, multi-family buildings constructed from 1976-1985, rented apartments and living in densely populated areas. Risk factors for rhinitis in China included window pane condensation, recent redecoration, new furniture, presence of cockroaches, pet keeping, ETS and living near a main road or highway. Frequently cleaning of the home and putting beddings to sunshine were protective factors for rhinitis in China. Other risk factors for respiratory infections in Sweden included houses with a brick façade, window pane condensation, a higher moisture load, multi-family buildings constructed from 1976-1985, rented apartments and living in densely populated areas. Furthermore, dampness and mould, and mould odour were risk factors for onset of asthma and rhinitis in northern Europe. In conclusion, indoor dampness and mould can be a risk factor for asthma and rhinitis in Sweden, China and northern Europe. Certain construction years (1961-1985), ETS, recent redecoration, new furniture, living in urban areas and exposure to traffic air pollution can be risk factors for asthma, rhinitis or respiratory infections. A high ventilation flow and daily cleaning at home can be protective.
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