Molds Increase Severity of Asthma
British Medical Journal
Severe asthma in adults may
be associated with sensitivity to airborne molds rather than pollens, finds a study in
this week's BMJ.
Researchers used data from 1,132 people with
asthma from the European Community respiratory health survey to access whether the
severity of asthma is associated with sensitisation to airborne moulds rather than to
other allergens, such as pollens and cats.
Sensitisation to moulds was significantly
associated with severity of asthma, but the team found no association between severity of
asthma and sensitisation to pollens or cats.
The small size of fungal spores may allow them
to reach the lower airways, suggest the authors. Unlike pollens, moulds are also present
through the year with increase in the spore counts during the autumn months. Furthermore,
the level of mould exposure is probably greater because the exposure occurs indoors rather
than outdoors and people spend most of their time indoors.
Those people with asthma who are sensitised to
airborne moulds should be educated to pay careful attention to symptoms and comply with
treatment, particularly during the seasonal increase in mould spore counts, say the
Patients should also be encouraged to decrease
exposure by avoiding indoor conditions that facilitate the growth of moulds - for example,
by better ventilation and by decreasing dampness, they conclude.
Contact Mr. Don Bremner
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