Income Level as a Predictor of Indoor Mouse Allergen Levels in Inner-City Homes of Kansas City
Sunday, March 4, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Jessica S. Van Mason, MD, Jane B. Taylor, MD, Hongying Dai, PhD, Charles S. Barnes, PhD FAAAAI
RATIONALE: Indoor allergens are prevalent and affect asthma severity and allergy symptom control. Several reports indicate higher mouse allergen levels in groups of lower socioeconomic status. We hypothesized that different income levels would have different allergen prevalence as seen in other cities.

METHODS: Children’s Mercy Hospital collected data from Kansas City homes for a study of housing in the urban area. We divided these homes into two cohorts based on the percentage of the area median income (lower <50%; higher <80%). Dust was collected by vacuuming, using the HUD protocol. Aeroallergens Fel d1, Can f1, Mus m1, Der f1, Der p1, and Bla g2 were measured using immunoassays available from Indoor Biotechnology. Statistical analysis was performed using the SAS statistical software with chi square analysis and logistic regression comparison.

RESULTS: Data from 246 homes was evaluated. The lower income cohort had higher levels of indoor mouse allergen (lower income 375.0 ng/g; higher income 160.2 ng/g) p <0.0001. Mouse allergen levels above the lower level of assay detection were prevalent in 91% of the lower income homes and 82% of the higher income homes. There were no significant differences in other allergen levels evaluated, including cat, dog, cockroach, or dust mite, between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Indoor allergen levels were not significantly different between the two income groups, with the exception of mouse allergen, which was more prevalent in the lower income cohort.