TABLE 1

Exposure to moulds using qualitative metrics and asthma occurrence in children (longitudinal studies)

First author, location [ref.]Study designMould exposureMain outcomesResults
Pekkanen, Finland [98]Cases n=121
Controls n=242
Home inspection
Visible dampness and mould
Children aged 1–7 years
Doctor-diagnosed incident asthma
Main living quarters
Dampness: yes versus no
OR 2.24 (1.25–4.01)
Moulds: yes versus no
OR 2.59 (1.15–5.85)
Karvonen, Finland [99]Cohort
n=396
Home inspection
Visible mould
and humidity
First 6 months of life
Mother's questionnaire at 2, 12 and 18 monthsVisible mould: yes versus no
Doctor-diagnosed wheezing
Main living quarters
aOR 3.92 (1.54–10)
Child bedroom
aOR 5.22 (1.48–18.35)
Schroer, USA [100]Cohort (CCAPS)
n=570
Home inspection
Visible mould
Mould odour
First year of life
Parents’ ISAAC questionnaire
Wheezing at 2 years
Persistent wheezing at 1 and 2 years
Visible mould: yes versus no
Wheezing at 2 years
aOR 2.12 (1.25–3.60)
Persistent wheezing
aOR 2.47 (1.27–4.80)
Dales, Canada [101]Cohort
n=330
Home inspection
Visible mould
First year of life
Acute and upper respiratory events
Birth to 2 years
Visible mould: yes versus no
ns
Larsson, Sweden [102]Cohort
n=4779 children
Self-reported visible dampness and mould
Reported mould odour
At birth
Incident asthma
at 6–8 years
Parents’ questionnaire
Mould odour:
OR 2.99 (1.50–5.94)
Hwang, Taiwan [103]1–7 years
Cases n=188
Controls n=376
Self-reported mould or mould odour between birth and 1 yearReported doctor- diagnosed incident asthma 6 years laterVisible mould: yes versus no
aOR 1.76 (1.18–2.62)
Mould odour: yes versus no
aOR 2.09 (1.30–3.37)
Moulds + parent atopy
aOR 5.10 (2.80–9.31)
Odour + parent atopy
aOR 4.11 (2.22–7.64)
Hwang, Taiwan [21]1–7 years
Cases n=188
Controls n=376
Self-reported mould or mould odour between birth and 1 yearReported doctor- diagnosed incident asthma 6 years later + polymorphisms of interleukin-4 promoterVisible mould: yes versus no
CT versus TT polymorphism:
OR 2.14 (1.05–4.34)
Zhou, France [23]Cohort
n=1765
Self-reported humidity or moulds
First year of life
ISAAC questionnaire
0–4, 4–8 and 8–12 months
Humidity and diagnosed asthma + wheeze
aOR 2.21 (1.04–4.71)
Wheeze aOR 2.12 (1.30–3.46)
Diagnosed life-time asthma
aOR 2.19 (1.06–4.53)
Wen, Taiwan [24]Cohort
n=19 192
Visible mould during pregnancy
Health questionnaire at 0.5, 1.5, 3 and 5 years
Ever doctor-diagnosed asthma in 5-year-old childrenVisible mould: yes versus no
aOR 1.21 (1.01–1.46) Only in females
Shorter, New Zealand [22]Nested incident cases n=150
Controls n=300
Bedroom wall (electrostatic dust cloth) for 4 weeks
Visible mould and odour
Children aged 1–7 years
Incident wheezing
Visible mould and mould odour in a dose-dependent manner
Karvonen, Finland [25]Cohort
n=398
Home inspection
Visible mould and humidity
First 6 months of life
Ever physician-diagnosed asthma
≤6 years
Visible mould: yes versus no
Living room
aOR 7.51 (1.49–37.83)
Child's bedroom
aOR 4.82 (1.29–18.02)
Allergic asthma
aOR 9.08 (1.95–42.23)
Thacher, Sweden [26]BAMSE cohort
n=3798
Any self-reported mould or dampness indicator (dampness damage, visible mould or mould odour) in infancy (2 months)Asthma ≤16 yearsAny indicator
Asthma
OR 1.31 (1.08–1.59)
Nonallergic asthma
aOR 1.80 (1.27–2.55)

aOR: adjusted odds ratio; CCAPS: Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study; ISAAC: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood; ns: nonsignificant; BAMSE: Barn/Child Allergy Milieu Stockholm Epidemiology.