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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4117-4131; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094117
Article

Asthma Associations in Children Attending a Museum of Science

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 and
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1 Community Health Program, Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences, Medford, MA 02155, USA 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA 3 Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA 4 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 27 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
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Abstract

We explored the relative strength of environmental and social factors associated with pediatric asthma in middle class families and considered the efficacy of recruitment for an educational study at a science museum. Eligibility criteria were having a child aged 4–12 and English fluency. Our questionnaire included information on demographics, home environment, medical history, and environmental toxicant exposures. Statistically significant associations were found for: child’s age (t = −2.46; p = 0.014), allergies (OR = 11.5; 95%CI = 5.9–22.5), maternal asthma (OR = 2.2; 95%CI = 1.2–3.9), parents’ education level (OR = 0.5; 95%CI = 0.3–0.9), family income (OR = 2.4; 95%CI = 1.1–5.5), water damage at home (OR = 2.5; 95%CI = 1.1–5.5), stuffed animals in bedroom (OR = 0.4; 95%CI = 0.2–0.7), hospitalization within a week after birth (OR = 3.2; 95%CI = 1.4–7.0), diagnosis of pneumonia (OR = 2.8; 95%CI = 1.4–5.9), and multiple colds in a year (OR = 2.9; 95%CI = 1.5–5.7). Several other associations approached statistical significance, including African American race (OR = 3.3; 95%CI = 1.0–10.7), vitamin D supplement directive (OR = 0.2; 95%CI = 0.02–1.2), mice in the home (OR = 0.5, 95%CI = 0.2–1.1), and cockroaches in the home (OR = 4.3; CI = 0.8–21.6). In logistic regression, age, parents’ education, allergies, mold allergies, hospitalization after birth, stuffed animals in the bedroom, vitamin D supplement directive, and water damage in the home were all significant independent predictors of asthma. The urban science museum was a low-resource approach to address the relative importance of risk factors in this population.
Keywords: pediatric; asthma; risk factors; respiratory; family history; allergies; medical history; environment; urban pediatric; asthma; risk factors; respiratory; family history; allergies; medical history; environment; urban
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Corlin, L.; Woodin, M.; Newhide, D.; Brown, E.; Diaz, S.V.; Chi, A.; Brugge, D. Asthma Associations in Children Attending a Museum of Science. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4117-4131.

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