There are few studies on associations between airborne microbial exposure, formaldehyde, plasticizers in dwellings and the symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome (SBS). As a follow-up of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS II), indoor measurements were performed in homes in three North European cities. The aim was to examine whether volatile organic compounds of possible microbial origin (MVOCs), and airborne levels of bacteria, molds, formaldehyde, and two plasticizers in dwellings were associated with the prevalence of SBS, and to study associations between MVOCs and reports on dampness and mold. The study included homes from three centers included in ECRHS II. A total of 159 adults (57% females) participated (19% from Reykjavik, 40% from Uppsala, and 41% from Tartu). A random sample and additional homes with a history of dampness were included. Exposure measurements were performed in the 159 homes of the participants. MVOCs were analyzed by GCMS with selective ion monitoring (SIM). Symptoms were reported in a standardized questionnaire. Associations were analyzed by multiple logistic regression. In total 30.8% reported any SBS (20% mucosal, 10% general, and 8% dermal symptoms) and 41% of the homes had a history of dampness and molds There were positive associations between any SBS and levels of 2-pentanol (P=0.002), 2-hexanone (P=0.0002), 2-pentylfuran (P=0.009), 1-octen-3-ol (P=0.002), formaldehyde (P=0.05), and 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate (Texanol) (P=0.05). 1-octen-3-ol (P=0.009) and 3-methylfuran (P=0.002) were associated with mucosal symptoms. In dwellings with dampness and molds, the levels of total bacteria (P=0.02), total mold (P=0.04), viable mold (P=0.02), 3-methylfuran (P=0.008) and ethyl-isobutyrate (P=0.02) were higher. In conclusion, some MVOCs like 1-octen-3-ol, formaldehyde and the plasticizer Texanol, may be a risk factor for sick building syndrome. Moreover, concentrations of airborne molds, bacteria and some other MVOCs were slightly higher in homes with reported dampness and mold.
Studies of the health effects of moist oral tobacco, snus, have produced inconsistent results. The main objective of this study is to examine the health effects of snus use on asthma, respiratory symptoms and sleep-related problems, a field that has not been investigated before.
This cross-sectional study was based on a postal questionnaire completed by 26?697 (59.3%) participants aged 16 to 75 years and living in Sweden. The questionnaire included questions on tobacco use, asthma, respiratory symptoms and sleeping problems. The association of snus use with asthma, respiratory symptoms and sleep-related symptoms was mainly tested in never-smokers (n=16?082).
The current use of snus in never-smokers was associated with an increased risk of asthma (OR 1.51 (95%?CI 1.28 to 1.77)), asthmatic symptoms, chronic bronchitis and chronic rhinosinusitis. This association was not present among ex-snus users. Snoring was independently related to both the former and current use of snus ((OR 1.37 (95%?CI 1.12 to 1.68)) and (OR 1.59 (95%?CI 1.34 to 1.89), respectively)). A higher risk of difficulty inducing sleep was seen among snus users.
Snus use was associated with a higher prevalence of asthma, respiratory symptoms and snoring. Healthcare professionals should be aware of these possible adverse effects of snus use.
Despite the well-known association between asthma and rhinitis, in Swedish adults the prevalence of rhinitis rose from 22% to 31% between 1990 and 2008 while asthma prevalence was unchanged. We tested whether the association of rhinitis with asthma was stable over time using the same population-based databases.
Two surveys of adults (20-44 years) living in three regions of Sweden, carried out in 1990 (n = 8982) and 2008 (n = 9156) were compared. Identical questions regarding respiratory symptoms, asthma and rhinitis were used. Asthmatic wheeze: Wheeze with breathlessness apart from colds. Current asthma: Asthma attacks and/or asthma medication use.
Subjects with rhinitis had level time trends in asthmatic wheeze, current asthma and most nocturnal respiratory symptoms between 1990 and 2008, adjusted for age, sex, area and smoking. Any wheeze however decreased slightly. In never-smokers asthma symptoms were similarly associated with rhinitis in 1990 and 2008: any wheeze OR 4.0 vs. 4.4 (p = 0.339); asthmatic wheeze OR 6.0 vs. 5.9 (p = 0.937); and current asthma OR 9.6 vs. 7.7 (p = 0.213). In the whole population there were decreases in the asthma symptoms most closely associated to smoking, which decreased by half 1990-2008. Conversely current asthma, which was strongly associated with rhinitis and not with smoking, increased (p
Background. Asthma is a common chronic health condition among the elderly and an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Some studies show that subjective assessments of health-related quality of life (HRQL) are important predictors of mortality and survival. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether low HRQL was a predictor of mortality in elderly subjects and whether such an association differed between subjects with and without asthma. Methods. In 1990, a cohort in middle Sweden was investigated using a respiratory questionnaire. To assess HRQL, the generic instrument Gothenburg Quality of Life (GQL) was used. The participants were also investigated by spirometry and allergy testing. The present study was limited to the subjects in the oldest age group, aged 60-69 years in 1990, and included 222 subjects with clinically verified asthma, 148 subjects with respiratory symptoms but no asthma or other lung diseases, and 102 subjects with no respiratory symptoms. Mortality in the cohort was followed during 1990-2008. Results. Altogether, 166 of the 472 subjects in the original cohort had died during the follow-up period of 1990-2008. Mortality was significantly higher in men, in older subjects, in smokers, and subjects with a low forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)). There was, however, no difference in mortality between the asthmatic and the nonasthmatic groups. A higher symptoms score for GQL was significantly related to increased mortality. No association between HRQL and mortality was found when limiting the analysis to the asthmatic group, although the asthmatics had a lower symptom score for GQL compared to the other groups. Conclusion. A higher symptom score in the GQL instrument was significantly related to increased mortality, but this association was not found when analyzing the asthmatic group alone. The negative prognostic implications of a low HRQL in the whole group and the fact that the asthmatic group had a lower HRQL than the other group supports the use of HRQL instruments in clinical health assessments.
STUDY OBJECTIVES: The aim was to assess associations between sleep duration, sleep stages, and central obesity in women. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: City of Uppsala, Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: Population-based sample of 400 women (range 20-70 years). INTERVENTIONS: Full-night polysomnography and measurement of anthropometric variables. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Sleep duration was inversely related to both waist circumference and sagittal abdominal diameter. Sleep duration remained inversely related to waist circumference (adj. beta = -1.22 cm/h; P = 0.016) and sagittal abdominal diameter (adj. beta = -0.46 cm/h; P = 0.001) after adjusting for potential confounders. Duration of slow wave sleep (SWS, adj. beta = -0.058 cm/min; P = 0.025) and REM sleep (adj. beta = -0.062 cm/min; P = 0.002) were both inversely related to waist circumference afteradjustments. Moreover,duration of REM sleep was inversely related to sagittal abdominal diameter (adj. beta = -0.021 cm/min; P
The Eosinophil Cationic Protein (ECP) is a potent multifunctional protein. Three common polymorphisms are present in the ECP gene, which determine the function and production of the protein. The aim was to study the relationship of these ECP gene polymorphisms to signs and symptoms of allergy and asthma in a community based cohort (The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS)).
Swedish and Estonian subjects (n = 757) were selected from the larger cohort of the ECRHS II study cohort. The prevalence of the gene polymorphisms ECP434(G>C) (rs2073342), ECP562(G>C) (rs2233860) and ECP c.-38(A>C) (rs2233859) were analysed by DNA sequencing and/or real-time PCR and related to questionnaire-based information of allergy, asthma, smoking habits and to lung functions.
Genotype prevalence showed both ethnic and gender differences. Close associations were found between the ECP434(G>C) and ECP562(G>C) genotypes and smoking habits, lung function and expression of allergic symptoms. Non-allergic asthma was associated with an increased prevalence of the ECP434GG genotype. The ECP c.-38(A>C) genotypes were independently associated to the subject being atopic.
Our results show associations of symptoms of allergy and asthma to ECP-genotypes, but also to smoking habits. ECP may be involved in impairment of lung functions in disease. Gender, ethnicity and smoking habits are major confounders in the evaluations of genetic associations to allergy and asthma.
Cites: Genetics. 2000 Dec;156(4):1949-5811102386
Cites: Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008 Nov 1;98(1-2):77-8518562131
Having asthma has in previous reports been related to a lower physical activity level. At the same time the prevalence of asthma among elite athletes is high. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between physical activity level and asthma.
A postal questionnaire was completed by 25,610 individuals in Sweden. Current asthma was defined as having had an asthma attack during the last 12 months or current use of asthma medication. The participants were asked how often and for how many hours a week they were physically active.
In the population 1830 subjects (7.1%) had current asthma. There was no significant difference in the proportion of subjects that reported being inactive or slightly physically active between asthmatic and non-asthmatics (57 vs. 58%) while the proportion of subjects that were vigorously physically active (=2 times a week and =7 h per week) was higher among the subjects with asthma (6.7 vs. 4.8%, p
Pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. COPD patients using inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have an increased risk of pneumonia, but less is known about whether ICS treatment in asthma also increases the risk of pneumonia. The aim of this analysis was to examine risk factors for hospitalisations with pneumonia in a general population sample with special emphasis on asthma and the use of ICS in asthmatics.
In 1999 to 2000, 7340 subjects aged 28 to 54?years from three Swedish centres completed a brief health questionnaire. This was linked to information on hospitalisations with pneumonia from 2000 to 2010 and treatment with ICS from 2005 to 2010 held within the Swedish National Patient Register and the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register.
Participants with asthma (n?=?587) were more likely to be hospitalised with pneumonia than participants without asthma (Hazard Ratio (HR 3.35 (1.97-5.02)). Other risk factors for pneumonia were smoking (HR 1.93 (1.22-3.06)), BMI??30?kg/m2 (HR 2.54 (1.39-4.67)). Asthmatics (n?=?586) taking continuous treatment with fluticasone propionate were at an increased risk of being hospitalized with pneumonia (incidence risk ratio (IRR) 7.92 (2.32-27.0) compared to asthmatics that had not used fluticasone propionate, whereas no significant association was found with the use of budesonide (IRR 1.23 (0.36-4.20)).
Having asthma is associated with a three times higher risk of being hospitalised for pneumonia. This analysis also indicates that there are intraclass differences between ICS compounds with respect to pneumonia risk, with an increased risk of pneumonia related to fluticasone propionate.