How Renting Can Affect Asthma

    A man lifting a large brown moving box, looking at a woman who's hands are inside a smaller moving box

    Renting vs. owning…what does this have to do with asthma?

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    A survey of people with allergic asthma found that renters are less likely than homeowners to make changes to minimize exposures to the allergens that trigger their breathing problems.

    Allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold are common asthma triggers. More than half of people with asthma in the U.S. are allergic to something in their environment.

    Taking steps to minimize exposure to these environmental triggers in the home is an important component of asthma control, but renters took these steps less often than homeowners.

    The study, published in the August issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, found that while 91% of homeowners made recommended changes, just 63% of renters did.

    Clean Air at Home Reduces Asthma

    Home ownership fell to its lowest level in more than a decade earlier this year, and the bursting of the housing bubble continues to deflate home prices in many parts of the U.S.

    Researcher Michael Schatz, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Diego, Calif., says although some recommendations like removing wall-to-wall carpeting may be impractical for renters, many others, such as washing bedding regularly, are not.

    The researchers found that renters and homeowners both were more likely to make recommended changes within the home when they were made aware of the changes that would help them most.

    “When people knew what they were allergic to and how to reduce their exposure to the specific allergen, most people took steps to minimize their exposure,” he tells WebMD.

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