Household mouse allergen exposure and asthma morbidity in inner-city preschool children

Elizabeth C. Matsui, Peyton A. Eggleston, Timothy J. Buckley, Jerry A. Krishnan, Patrick N. Breysse, Cynthia S. Rand, Gregory B. Diette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Background: Inner-city children experience disproportionate asthma morbidity, and suspected reasons include indoor environmental exposures. Objective: To determine if mouse allergen exposure is a risk factor for asthma morbidity. Methods: Preschool children with asthma were recruited from inner-city Baltimore, MD. Skin testing was performed and blood was collected at the baseline visit for quantification of mouse allergen specific IgE. A questionnaire evaluated symptoms, medication, and health care use at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. A trained technician collected dust samples from the child's home for analysis of Mus m 1 at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Outcomes were compared between mouse-sensitized, highly exposed children and all other children. Results: A total of 127 children had complete data for mouse sensitization status and bedroom settled dust mouse allergen levels at baseline. The mean age of the children was 4.4 years, 92% were African American, and 26% were sensitized to mouse. Mouse-sensitized children exposed to higher levels of Mus m 1 (>0.5 μg/g) had 50% more days of symptoms (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.1) and 80% more days of β-agonist use than other children (IRR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.5). Children in the sensitized and highly exposed group were also more likely to have an unscheduled physician visit (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% CI, 1.6-6.3), emergency department visit (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-4.1), and hospitalization (OR, 36.6; 95% CI, 4.1-327.3) than other children. These associations between mouse allergen exposure and asthma symptoms and morbidity remained statistically significant after adjusting for potential confounders, including atopy and cockroach sensitization and exposure. Conclusions: In mouse-sensitized inner-city children, exposure to mouse allergen may be an important cause of asthma morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-520
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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