Background: Asthma guidelines recommend environmental control practices (ECPs) to improve asthma health. In the inner city, where asthma morbidity is high, it is not known whether children's health status affects the use of ECPs. Objective: To investigate health status determinants of ECPs in the homes of children with asthma. Methods: Caregivers of children aged 2 to 6 years with (n = 150) and without (n = 150) asthma completed a survey about ECPs. Atopic status was determined by means of skin prick testing. Results: Most ECPs were similarly practiced, regardless of whether the child had asthma. Only pet avoidance was more common in children with asthma (30% vs 19%). Asthma severity and recent acute health care visits for asthma were not associated with ECP use. Most ECPs were not linked to allergen sensitization (eg, mite and mouse), although cockroach-sensitized children were more likely to have cockroach control than nonsensitized individuals (65% vs 45%). Caregivers of asthmatic children with rhinitis were more likely than those without rhinitis to report ECPs, including pet avoidance (44% vs 15%), smoking avoidance (78% vs 53%), cockroach control (65% vs 42%), mouse control (78% vs 42%), air-conditioning (45% vs 24%), and allergyproof covers (7% vs 0%). Conclusions: The presence of asthma, asthma severity, and allergen sensitization seem to have little relationship to ECP use in the homes of inner-city children. Rhinitis was consistently linked to ECPs, which suggests that caregivers may make changes in the home environment for upper airway but not lower airway symptoms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine