High indoor allergen levels contribute to increased eczema severity in children

27 Mar 2019
High indoor allergen levels contribute to increased eczema severity in children

Exposure to high concentrations of indoor allergens among children with atopic dermatitis (AD) may lead to increased disease severity, a study has found.

The study included 25 children (mean age, 3.9 years; 52 percent female) with active AD. Disease severity was assessed using the Scoring AD (SCORAD) index and the Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM).

Mean SCORAD was 29, and mean POEM was 10.7. Based on the SCORAD index, 12 patients had mild AD, 11 had moderate and only two had severe. POEM values, on the other hand, indicated that two patients were classified as clear or almost clear, five as having mild eczema, 14 moderate, three severe and one very severe.

Researchers collected and assayed bedroom dust samples. Regardless of pet ownership, all samples contained dog and cat allergens. Concentrations of these allergens were significantly higher in homes with pets (p<0.001). Dust mite allergens were present in 40 percent of the samples, whereas alternaria alternata was not found in any.

SCORAD scores showed no direct association with tobacco exposure, pet ownership, aerosol use, visible dust or home carpets/rugs (p>0.05 for all). However, children exposed to elevated dust mite and animal dander allergen concentrations had higher SCORAD compared with those who had low exposure (40 vs 26; p=0.025).

No significant association emerged between AD severity as measured by POEM and either the presence or quantity of indoor allergens.

More studies evaluating indoor allergens and sensitization to it are needed to further evaluate the role of indoor allergens on AD, researchers said.

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