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An Association Between Indoor Fungal Spore Count, Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status in Children with Asthma
Saturday, March 4, 2017: 3:00 PM
Rooms B303-B304 (Georgia World Congress Center, Building B)
Hani Hadi, MD, , ,
Rationale: Higher Alternaria spore counts are associated with increased asthma exacerbations. We hypothesize that associations between asthma symptoms and other fungal spores exists and that these associations may be related to socioeconomic status and ethnicity.

Methods:  We measured indoor spore counts in the homes of 178 patients with intermittent and persistent asthma enrolled in the Kansas City Safe and Healthy Homes Program.  Spore counts for Alternaria, Aspergillus/Penicillium and Cladosporium were obtained using the Buck BioAire B250 spore trap. Inclusion criteria included family income <80% Kansas City median family income (KC-MFI). Data was analyzed using Prism (GraphPad, San Diego).

Results:  Overall, there were significantly higher Aspergillus/Penicillium spore counts than either Alternaria or Cladosporium in these homes (p = 0.0006). However, Cladosporium spore counts were significantly higher in homes of Hispanic children compared to African-Americans, Caucasians and Other ethnicities in which family income was >50% but <80% KC-MFI (p= 0.0010). Furthermore, in homes of children of Other ethnicities comparison of spore counts revealed significantly higher Cladosporium spore counts in which family income was <50% KC-MFI (p = 0.039)

Conclusions: Overall, levels of Aspergillus/Penicillium compared to Alternaria or Cladosporium spores were higher in homes of low-income Kansas City children with asthma. However, higher levels of Cladosporium spores were detected in homes of Hispanic children and in homes of children of Other ethnicities in the lowest income group. These results suggest that race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status may influence the species of mold that is most prevalent in these homes.