Results of a new study have suggested that infants who live in “moldy” homes are three times more likely to develop asthma by age 7—an age that children can be accurately diagnosed with the condition.
“Early life exposure to mold seems to play a critical role in childhood asthma development,” said Tiina Reponen, PhD, lead study author and University of Cincinnati (UC) professor of environmental health.
“Genetic factors are also important to consider in asthma risk, since infants whose parents have an allergy or asthma are at the greatest risk of developing asthma,” she stated.
UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers analyzed seven years of comprehensive data for 176 children to evaluate the effects of mold exposure in early life.
Eighteen percent of children enrolled in CCAAPS were found to be asthmatic at age 7.
“This study should motivate expectant parents—especially if they have a family history of allergy or asthma—to correct water damage and reduce the mold burden in their homes to protect the respiratory health of their children,” added Reponen.
The results are published in the August issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).