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ABSTRACT: We explored the relative strength of environmental and social factors associated with pediatric asthma in middle class families and considered the efficacy of recruitment for an educational study at a science museum. Eligibility criteria were having a child aged 4-12 and English fluency. Our questionnaire included information on demographics, home environment, medical history, and environmental toxicant exposures. Statistically significant associations were found for: child's age (t = -2.46; p = 0.014), allergies (OR = 11.5; 95%CI = 5.9-22.5), maternal asthma (OR = 2.2; 95%CI = 1.2-3.9), parents' education level (OR = 0.5; 95%CI = 0.3-0.9), family income (OR = 2.4; 95%CI = 1.1-5.5), water damage at home (OR = 2.5; 95%CI = 1.1-5.5), stuffed animals in bedroom (OR = 0.4; 95%CI = 0.2-0.7), hospitalization within a week after birth (OR = 3.2; 95%CI = 1.4-7.0), diagnosis of pneumonia (OR = 2.8; 95%CI = 1.4-5.9), and multiple colds in a year (OR = 2.9; 95%CI = 1.5-5.7). Several other associations approached statistical significance, including African American race (OR = 3.3; 95%CI = 1.0-10.7), vitamin D supplement directive (OR = 0.2; 95%CI = 0.02-1.2), mice in the home (OR = 0.5, 95%CI = 0.2-1.1), and cockroaches in the home (OR = 4.3; CI = 0.8-21.6). In logistic regression, age, parents' education, allergies, mold allergies, hospitalization after birth, stuffed animals in the bedroom, vitamin D supplement directive, and water damage in the home were all significant independent predictors of asthma. The urban science museum was a low-resource approach to address the relative importance of risk factors in this population.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2013; 10(9):4117-31. · 2.00 Impact Factor