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Respiratory symptoms, asthma and allergen levels in schools: comparison between Korea and Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Eva Vingård)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Eva Vingård)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Eva Vingård)
2007 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 17, no 2, 122-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We studied reports on respiratory symptoms, asthma and atopic sensitisation in relation to allergen contamination in Korean schools and compared with data from a previous Swedish study performed in eight primary schools. Korean pupils (n = 2365) in 12 primary schools first completed a questionnaire. Then airborne and settled dust were collected from 34 classrooms and analyzed for allergens by ELISA. In both countries, boys reported more symptoms. The prevalence of wheeze was similar, while daytime [odds ratio (OR) = 14.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 9.0–21.9] and nocturnal breathlessness (OR = 3.1, 95% CI = 1.5–6.4) were much higher among Korean students. In Korean schools, dog allergen (Can f 1) was the most common followed by mite allergen (Der f 1), while cat (Fel d 1), dog, and horse allergen (Equ cx) were abundant in Sweden. Moreover, CO2 levels were high in most Korean schools (range 907–4113 ppm). There was an association between allergen levels in dust and air samples, and number of pet-keepers in the classrooms. In conclusion, allergen contamination in Korean schools may be an important public issue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 17, no 2, 122-129 p.
Keyword [en]
Asthma, Allergy, Furry pet allergen, House dust-mite allergen (Der p 1/f 1), school-pupil
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95270DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2006.00460.xISI: 000245155700004PubMedID: 17391234OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95270DiVA: diva2:169426
Available from: 2006-12-20 Created: 2006-12-20 Last updated: 2011-02-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental Factors in Relation to Asthma and Respiratory Symptoms among Schoolchildren in Sweden and Korea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental Factors in Relation to Asthma and Respiratory Symptoms among Schoolchildren in Sweden and Korea
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studied environmental factors in relation to asthma and respiratory symptoms among schoolchildren in two countries. In Sweden, 1014 pupils (5-14 year) in 8 schools participated. Wheeze was reported by 7.8%, current asthma by 5.9%, doctor-diagnosed asthma by 7.7%, cat allergy by 6.8% and dog allergy by 4.8%. Current asthma was less common among those consuming more fresh milk and fish. Doctor-diagnosed asthma was less common among those consuming olive oil. Cat, dog and horse allergens were common in settled dust and related to respiratory symptoms. Pupils consuming butter and fresh milk had less respiratory symptoms in relation to allergen exposure. In schools with increased levels of microbial volatile organic compounds and selected plasticizers (Texanol and TXIB) asthma and respiratory symptoms were more common.

In Korea, 2365 pupils (9-11 year) in 12 schools participated (96%). In total, wheeze was reported by 8.0%, current asthma by 5.7%, doctor-diagnosed asthma by 5.4%, cat allergy by 2.6% and dog allergy by 4.9%. Contamination of dog and mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) allergen was common while cat allergen was uncommon. Remodelling, changing floor and building dampness at home were positively associated with asthma and respiratory symptoms. The strongest associations were found for floor dampness. Indoor/outdoor concentration of NO2, formaldehyde and ultrafine particles (UFP) at schools were positively associated with asthma and respiratory symptoms.

When comparing Sweden and Korea, Korean pupils had more breathlessness and asthma but reported less cat and pollen allergy. Swedish schools had CO2-levels below 1000 ppm, while most Korean schools exceeded this standard. Since both home and school environment may affect pupil’s asthma and respiratory symptoms, air quality should be an important health issue. Moreover, changes in dietary habits may be beneficial to decrease asthma and allergies. Furthermore, interaction between diet and environment needs to be further investigated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 67 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 212
Keyword
Medical sciences, Allergen, allergy, asthma, dampness, diet, environment, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, plasticizer, schoolchildren, ultrafine particles, MEDICIN OCH VÅRD
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7418 (URN)91-554-6758-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-19, MIC AULA (at Restaurang Rullan), Hus 6, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-12-20 Created: 2006-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Kim, Jeong-LimElfman, LenaNorbäck, Dan

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