Correlation between Novel Potential Indoor Risk Factors and Frequency of Doctor's Visit for Respiratory Problem in Taiwan's Tropical Environment

Yu-Hao Wang, Hsing-Hao Su, Lan Hsu, Chung-Yang Wang, Pi-Hsiung Wu


Background: With a global rising trend in prevalence of allergic diseases, more attention has been paid to investigation of environmental risk factors. Many risk factors have so far been identified. However, novel risk factors specific to Taiwanese environment and lifestyle were still relatively unknown.

Objective: To investigate the potential effects of a number of little-known indoor risk factors on the frequency of doctor's visit for respiratory problems in context of Taiwanese environment and lifestyle.

Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based study was performed on a 861 participants around Kaohsiung area, Taiwan. Survey investigation was employed to assess the household environment and the frequency of doctor's visit for respiratory problems.

Results: Participants who performed “daily cleaning” was shown to have a significantly (p=0.007) higher mean number of doctor's visits in comparison to those who did not. Similar observation was made for participants who periodically took out beddings (p=0.042). Age had a significant positive correlation (linear regression β 0.089) with frequency of respiratory problems.

Conclusion: The habit of daily cleaning was implicated as a potential indoor risk factor due to the unique nature of Taiwanese cleaning habit and close contact with cleaning supplies, which could serve as chemical irritants. Bedding takeout was predicted to be an indicator of chronic allergies rather than an actual risk factor. However, both were controversial in their role as potential indoor risk factor, and required further examination.


Air pollution, indoor; Volatile organic compounds; Allergens; Asthma; Rhinitis, allergic, seasonal; Hypersensitivity; Environment; Fungi; Taiwan

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2018.1143

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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