Mouldy homes trigger asthma

Children living in mould-infested homes may be at increased risk of developing permanent asthma, says a Finnish study in the European Respiratory Journal.

Researchers surveyed the homes of more than 300 children and found that serious dampness or visible mould was two to three times more common in homes where there were asthmatic children, BBC News reported.

The findings offer clear evidence that mould and damp cause asthma in children, and don't just worsen or trigger attacks in children whose asthma has another underlying cause, the study authors said.

"Damp in the home does more than merely exacerbate existing asthma - it can contribute to the onset of persistent asthma," said researcher Dr Juha Pekkanen of the National Public Health Institute in Kuopio.

However, some asthma experts still aren't convinced that mould and dampness can cause asthma. Dr Michael Burr, a mould and asthma researcher at Cardiff University in Great Britain, said the findings of this study, along with existing evidence, suggest that mould "probably triggers respiratory symptoms and may contribute to causing asthma."

"However, it is not possible to distinguish conclusively between the role of moisture damage and mould as trigger factors and any casual link with childhood asthma based on the current evidence," Burr said. – (HealthDayNews)

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Asthma Centre
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March 2007

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