Mold Exposure During Infancy Increases Asthma Risk

African American Black woman older meditating breathing peaceful(BlackDoctor.org) — Infants who live in “moldy” homes are three times more likely to develop asthma by age 7—an age that children can be accurately diagnosed with the condition.

Study results are published in the August issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“Early life exposure to mold seems to play a critical role in childhood asthma development,” says Tiina Reponen, PhD, lead study author and University of Cincinnati (UC) professor of environmental health. “Genetic factors are also important to consider in asthma risk, since infants whose parents have an allergy or asthma are at the greatest risk of developing asthma.”

UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers analyzed seven years of comprehensive data for 176 children to evaluate the effects of mold exposure in early life.

The children were part of the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS), a long-term population-based study that included more than 700 children from the Greater Cincinnati area. CCAAPS looked at the effects of environmental particles on childhood respiratory health and allergy development. Participants were identified during infancy as at high risk to develop allergies based on family medical history.