Evaluation of Respiratory Symptoms and Their Possible Association with Residential Indoor Bioaerosol Concentrations and Other Environmental Influences

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The study discussed here evaluated the presence of self-reported respiratory symptoms and their association with indoor bioaerosol concentrations over a year-long study in the El Paso, Texas, region. The authors collected air samples from homes to assess seasonal differences in bacterial and fungal bioaerosol concentrations. They distributed a health questionnaire to the participating homeowner during each seasonal air sampling. The authors used this questionnaire to assess whether the homeowners were suffering from specific symptoms prior to each sampling. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions were conducted to model the relationship among “high” reporters of symptoms, bioaerosols, and environmental factors. The authors collected evidence to support an association between indoor respirable bacterial concentrations and homeowners that reported at least eight respiratory symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 1.10, p = .045). Smoking status, indoor humidity, and season also displayed associations with homeowners that reported at least eight respiratory symptoms (current smokers OR = 3.3, p = .042; indoor humidity OR = 1.5, p = .030; spring season OR = 7.2, p = .001; fall season OR = 3.4, p = .008).

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