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Original research
Longitudinal associations of household use of cleaning agents and asthma symptoms in women: the EGEA study


Objective To evaluate the associations between the evolution of household use of cleaning products with the asthma symptom score and its evolution over 8 years.

Methods Our study is based on 509 women participating in the last two surveys of the Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA) study (EGEA2: 2003–2007 (44 years, 19% current smokers) and EGEA3: 2011–2013). We assessed an asthma symptom score and the use of household cleaning products through standardised questionnaires. We studied longitudinal associations of the evolution of weekly use of irritant or spayed cleaning products with (1) the asthma symptom score at EGEA3 and a stable symptom score between EGEA2-EGEA3 (negative binomial models) and (2) the incidence/evolution of asthma symptoms between EGEA2-EGEA3 (logistic/polytomous logistic regressions). Models accounted for familial dependence and were adjusted for age, smoking status, body mass index and occupational exposure to asthmagens.

Results Persistent and increased (40% and 16%, respectively) weekly use of irritants or sprays were associated with a higher risk of asthma symptoms at EGEA3 (Mean Score Ratio (MSR)=1.51 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.14) and 1.33 (95% CI 0.85 to 2.08), respectively). A decreased use (19%) was associated with a lower risk of symptoms at EGEA3, compared with a persistent use (MSR=0.59 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.88)). We also observed an association between an increased use of sprays and the incidence of asthma symptoms (OR=2.30 (95% CI 1.08 to 4.91)), compared with no weekly use of irritants/sprays.

Conclusions This longitudinal study, with repeated assessment of exposure and respiratory health, supports the hypothesis that a persistent or increased weekly use of sprayed cleaning products over time may have an adverse effect on the evolution of asthma symptoms.

  • Epidemiology
  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Environment
  • Asthma

Data availability statement

No data are available. Due to third party restrictions, EGEA data are not publicly available. Please see the following URL for more information: Interested researchers should contact with further questions regarding data access.

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