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Original Article


Role of the Home Environment in Rhinoconjunctivitis and Eczema in Schoolchildren in Pamplona, Spain


N Ibargoyen-Roteta,1 I Aguinaga-Ontoso,1 M Fernandez-Benitez,2 B Marin-Fernandez,1 F Guillen-Grima,1,3 I Serrano-Monzo,4 J Hermoso-de-Mendoza,1 C Brun-Sandiumetge,1 A Ferrer-Nadal,3 A Irujo-Andueza5

1Department of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
2Department of Allergology, University Clinic, University of Navarra, Medical School, Pamplona, Spain
3Division of Preventive Medicine, University Clinic of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
4Department of Community Nursing and Maternal & Child Health, University of Navarra School of Nursing, Pamplona, Spain
5Department of Anatomy, University of Navarra, Medical School, Pamplona, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(3): 137-144



Background and Objective: Indoor air quality has become an important factor for sensitization and development of allergic diseases because of increased time spent in homes. We aimed to analyze the possible home-condition risk factors for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic eczema, and severe disease in schoolchildren aged 5 through 8 years.

Material and Methods: The parents of 3360 school children in Pamplona, Spain in the 5-8–year-old age bracket answered questions about rhinitis and eczema symptoms from the protocol of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). The
instrument contained additional questions about current home conditions related to mold and dust exposure and about conditions in the first year of life. Associations between the allergic diseases and early and current exposure were studied with χ2 tests and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Exposure to certain home conditions related to molds and dust in the fi rst year of life increased the risk of allergic disease, but having good isolating windows in the first year of life protected against allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and severe atopic eczema. Some current home conditions were also related to an increased risk of current allergic disease; severe atopic eczema was more common among children with single glazing over the bedroom window.

Conclusion: Current and first-year-of-life home conditions related to dust and mold exposure should be controlled because they influence the prevalence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema diseases. Moreover, having a double-glazed window currently and in the first year of life seems to protect against these diseases.

Key words: Allergic conjunctivitis. Atopic conjunctivitis. Allergic rhinitis, perennial. Allergic rhinitis, seasonal. Atopic dermatitis. Air pollution, indoor. Risk factors. Child health.