Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Visible damp in a child’s bedroom is associated with increased respiratory morbidity in early life: a multicentre cohort study
  1. Tom Ruffles1,2,
  2. Sarah K Inglis3,
  3. Anjum Memon4,
  4. Paul Seddon1,2,
  5. Kaninika Basu1,5,
  6. Stephen A Bremner4,
  7. Heike Rabe1,2,
  8. Somnath Mukhopadhyay1,2,
  9. Katy J Fidler1,2
  1. 1Academic Department of Paediatrics, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Brighton, UK
  2. 2Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK
  3. 3Tayside Clinical Trials Unit, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  4. 4Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK
  5. 5Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Tom Ruffles, Academic Department of Paediatrics, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Brighton, BN2 5BE, UK; tomruffles{at}doctors.org.uk

Abstract

Objective Household damp exposure is an important public health issue. We aimed to assess the impact of the location of household damp on respiratory outcomes during early life.

Methods Household damp exposure was ascertained in children recruited to the GO-CHILD multicentre birth cohort study. The frequency of respiratory symptoms, infections, healthcare utilisation and medication prescription for wheezing were collected by postal questionnaires at 12 and 24 months. Log binomial and ordered logistic regression models were fitted to the data.

Results Follow-up was obtained in 1344 children between August 2010 and January 2016. Visible damp was present in a quarter of households (25.3%) with 1 in 12 children’s bedrooms affected (8.3%). Damp in the bathroom, kitchen or living room was not associated with any respiratory or infection-related outcomes. Damp in the child’s bedroom was associated with an increased risk of dry cough (8.7% vs 5.7%) (adjusted relative risk 1.56, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.27; p=0.021) and odds of primary care attendance for cough and wheeze (7.6% vs 4.4%) (adjusted OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.76; p=0.009). There were also increased risk of inhaled corticosteroid (13.3% vs 5.9%) (adjusted RR 2.22, 95% CI 1.04 to 4.74; p=0.038) and reliever inhaler (8.3% vs 5.8%) (adjusted RR 2.01, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.79; p=0.018) prescription.

Conclusion Damp in the child’s bedroom was associated with increased respiratory morbidity. In children presenting with recurrent respiratory symptoms, clinicians should enquire about both the existence and location of damp, the presence of which can help prioritise those families requiring urgent household damp assessment and remediation works.

  • Respiratory
  • Epidemiology
  • Infant Welfare
  • Paediatrics
  • Social work

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

View Full Text

Footnotes

  • Contributors TR: Writing—original draft; formal analysis; data curation; methodology; investigation; writing—review and editing; software; resources; guarantor. SKI: Data curation; writing—original draft; writing—review and editing; project administration. AM: Conceptualisation; funding acquisition; writing—review and editing; writing—original draft. PS: Conceptualisation; writing—original draft; funding acquisition; writing—review and editing. KB: Data curation; writing—original draft; writing—review and editing. SAB: Formal analysis; writing—original draft; writing—review and editing. HR: Conceptualisation; funding acquisition; writing—review and editing; writing—original draft. SM: Conceptualisation; visualisation; writing—original draft; writing—review and editing; supervision; investigation; methodology; validation; funding acquisition; resources. KJF: Conceptualisation; investigation; funding acquisition; writing—original draft; methodology; validation; visualisation; writing—review and editing; supervision; resources.

  • Funding The study was funded by the medical charity Sparks (grant number G0010) and Rockinghorse Children's Charity. We received additional funding from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The study was sponsored by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust who provided grant funding for operational costs of the project. The sponsor did not participate in data collection, analysis, or decision to publish.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.