Skip to main content
Open access
Research Article
1 February 1997

Indoor risk factors for asthma and wheezing among Seattle school children.

Publication: Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 105, Issue 2
Pages 208 - 214


Indoor risk factors for physician-diagnosed asthma and wheezing in the past 12 months without previous asthma diagnosis were assessed in a survey of parents of 5-9-year-old Seattle primary school students. Among the 925 respondents, 106 (11%) reported a physician diagnosis of asthma, 66 (7%) had wheezing without diagnosis, and 753 (82%) were asymptomatic. After adjusting for age, sex, gender, ethnicity, medical history, socioeconomic status (SES) and parental asthma status, an increased risk of physician diagnosis of asthma was associated with household water damage, the presence of one or more household tobacco smokers, and at least occasional environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure. Similarly, an increased risk of wheezing in the past 12 months among children without diagnosed asthma was associated with household water damage, presence of one or more household tobacco smokers, and occasional or more frequent ETS exposure. No increased risk of either condition was associated with gas, wood, or kerosene stove use, household mold, basement water, or wall/window dampness. Similarities in the indoor risk factors patterns between diagnosed asthma and wheezing without diagnosis suggested a similar etiology of these two conditions. The slightly higher association between ETS and asthma may indicate that parents of diagnosed asthmatics were more conscious of ETS, and were more likely to prohibit household smoking by resident smokers. Future research is needed to quantify which aspects of household water damage are related to respiratory illness.

Formats available

You can view the full content in the following formats:

Information & Authors


Published In

Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 105Issue 2February 1997
Pages: 208 - 214
PubMed: 9105796


Published online: 1 February 1997



W C Maier
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.
H M Arrighi
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.
B Morray
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.
C Llewellyn
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.
G J Redding
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.

Metrics & Citations


About Article Metrics


Download citation

If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click DOWNLOAD.

Cited by

  • Effects of residential damp indicators on asthma, rhinitis, and eczema among children: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature in the past 33 years, Building and Environment, 10.1016/j.buildenv.2024.111226, 251, (111226), (2024).
  • Exposure to residential mold and dampness and the associations with respiratory tract infections and symptoms thereof in children in high income countries: A systematic review and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies, Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 10.1016/j.prrv.2023.06.003, 48, (47-64), (2023).
  • Gas cooking and respiratory outcomes in children: A systematic review, Global Epidemiology, 10.1016/j.gloepi.2023.100107, 5, (100107), (2023).
  • Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution from solid fuel combustion and respiratory outcomes in children in developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Science of The Total Environment, 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142187, 755, (142187), (2021).
  • Maternal cooking during pregnancy may increase hyperactive behaviors among children aged at around 3 years old, Indoor Air, 10.1111/ina.12614, 30, 1, (126-136), (2019).
  • Wood Stove Pollution in the Developed World: A Case to Raise Awareness Among Pediatricians, Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 10.1016/j.cppeds.2017.04.001, 47, 6, (123-141), (2017).
  • Review : Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Respiratory Health in Children: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Literature from 1969 to 19981, Indoor and Built Environment, 10.1177/1420326X0000900503, 9, 5, (246-264), (2016).
  • Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution, Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 10.1016/B978-1-4557-3383-5.00074-9, (1331-1342.e5), (2016).
  • Conditionally induced RAGE expression by proximal airway epithelial cells in transgenic mice causes lung inflammation, Respiratory Research, 10.1186/s12931-014-0133-y, 15, 1, (2014).
  • The effect of exposure to biomass smoke on respiratory symptoms in adult rural and urban Nepalese populations, Environmental Health, 10.1186/1476-069X-13-92, 13, 1, (2014).

View Options

View options


View PDF

Get Access

Restore your content access

Enter your email address to restore your content access:

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.







Copy the content Link

Share on social media