Parent report of pests and pets and indoor allergen levels in inner-city homes

Jean Curtin-Brosnan, Elizabeth C. Matsui, Patrick N Breysse, Meredith McCormack, Nadia Hansel, Emily S. Tonorezos, Peyton A. Eggleston, D'Ann L. Williams, Gregory B Diette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Guidelines recommend allergen avoidance for patients with allergic asthma, but direct measurements of home allergen levels are not available to most physicians. Parent report of indoor allergen exposure is a potentially convenient and inexpensive surrogate measure of exposure, although validity of parent report to estimate indoor allergen levels is not well established. Objective: To determine if parent-reported pest and pet exposures can identify patients with clinically relevant allergen exposure. Methods: Parents of 300 inner-city children completed a survey about pests (cockroaches and mice) and furred pets (dogs and cats). Settled dust samples were obtained for Bla g 1, Mus m 1, Can f 1, and Fel d 1 from kitchens and bedrooms. Results: Parent reports were associated with clinically relevant levels of Bla g 1, Mus m 1, Can f 1, and Fel d 1 (P <.001 for all). For example, when parents reported cockroaches were present, 86% of homes had settled dust Bla g 1 levels of 1 U/g or higher, and when they reported mice were present, 90% had Mus m 1 levels greater than 500 ng/g. Report of pets was also predictive of clinically meaningful allergen levels. Parent-reported absence of pets provided assurance that allergen levels were below relevant thresholds (negative predictive value, 80%-98%). However, parent-reported absence of pests did not provide assurance of low levels of these allergens (negative predictive value, 38%-75%). Conclusions: Since direct measurement of indoor allergens is not always feasible, especially in the inner city, parent report of pests and pets may be sufficient to recommend environmental control practices for sensitized children. Negative parent reports of pests are not sufficient evidence of low pest allergen exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Volume101
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008

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Pets
Allergens
Cockroaches
Dust
Parents
Cats
Asthma
Dogs
Guidelines
Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Parent report of pests and pets and indoor allergen levels in inner-city homes. / Curtin-Brosnan, Jean; Matsui, Elizabeth C.; Breysse, Patrick N; McCormack, Meredith; Hansel, Nadia; Tonorezos, Emily S.; Eggleston, Peyton A.; Williams, D'Ann L.; Diette, Gregory B.

In: Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Vol. 101, No. 5, 11.2008, p. 517-523.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Curtin-Brosnan, J, Matsui, EC, Breysse, PN, McCormack, M, Hansel, N, Tonorezos, ES, Eggleston, PA, Williams, DAL & Diette, GB 2008, 'Parent report of pests and pets and indoor allergen levels in inner-city homes', Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, vol. 101, no. 5, pp. 517-523.
Curtin-Brosnan, Jean ; Matsui, Elizabeth C. ; Breysse, Patrick N ; McCormack, Meredith ; Hansel, Nadia ; Tonorezos, Emily S. ; Eggleston, Peyton A. ; Williams, D'Ann L. ; Diette, Gregory B. / Parent report of pests and pets and indoor allergen levels in inner-city homes. In: Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2008 ; Vol. 101, No. 5. pp. 517-523.
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abstract = "Background: Guidelines recommend allergen avoidance for patients with allergic asthma, but direct measurements of home allergen levels are not available to most physicians. Parent report of indoor allergen exposure is a potentially convenient and inexpensive surrogate measure of exposure, although validity of parent report to estimate indoor allergen levels is not well established. Objective: To determine if parent-reported pest and pet exposures can identify patients with clinically relevant allergen exposure. Methods: Parents of 300 inner-city children completed a survey about pests (cockroaches and mice) and furred pets (dogs and cats). Settled dust samples were obtained for Bla g 1, Mus m 1, Can f 1, and Fel d 1 from kitchens and bedrooms. Results: Parent reports were associated with clinically relevant levels of Bla g 1, Mus m 1, Can f 1, and Fel d 1 (P <.001 for all). For example, when parents reported cockroaches were present, 86{\%} of homes had settled dust Bla g 1 levels of 1 U/g or higher, and when they reported mice were present, 90{\%} had Mus m 1 levels greater than 500 ng/g. Report of pets was also predictive of clinically meaningful allergen levels. Parent-reported absence of pets provided assurance that allergen levels were below relevant thresholds (negative predictive value, 80{\%}-98{\%}). However, parent-reported absence of pests did not provide assurance of low levels of these allergens (negative predictive value, 38{\%}-75{\%}). Conclusions: Since direct measurement of indoor allergens is not always feasible, especially in the inner city, parent report of pests and pets may be sufficient to recommend environmental control practices for sensitized children. Negative parent reports of pests are not sufficient evidence of low pest allergen exposure.",
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AU - Tonorezos, Emily S.

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