The association of respiratory problems in a community sample with self- reported chemical intolerance

C. M. Baldwin, I. R. Bell, M. K. O'Rourke, M. D. Lebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This epidemiological study evaluated respiratory histories in those individuals reporting chemical intolerance (CI) in a community population sample. The subsample of 181 completed standard Respiratory Health Questionnaires. CI was determined from self-ratings of feeling 'moderately' to 'severly' ill from exposure to at least three of five common chemicals (paint, pesticides, car exhaust, new carpet, and perfume); the prevalence rate was 22.7%. The comparison group (CN) (31.5% of the sample) were selected from their reports of 'never' feeling ill from the same chemicals. The prevalence rate of CI in females was over twice that in males (28% vs 12.9%), a significant difference. There were no significant differences in smoking, age, or education between CI and CN. Prevalence rates for symptoms and Relative Risk Ratios (RR) indicated that the CI were significantly more likely to report chronic cough, phlegm, wheeze, chest tightness, exertional dyspnea, acute respiratory illnesses, hay fever, child respiratory trouble, and physician confirmed asthma. Several of these respiratory symptoms were significantly, though differentially, related to 'current' asthma and hay fever reports. Results suggest a potential vulnerability to and greater interference from respiratory illness for the CI, which have implications for women's health and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-552
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
Emotions
Asthma
Perfume
Paint
Women's Health
Cough
Pesticides
Dyspnea
Epidemiologic Studies
Thorax
Smoking
Odds Ratio
Quality of Life
Physicians
Education
Health
Population
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Chemical intolerance
  • Epidemiology
  • Quality of life
  • Relative risk ratio
  • Respiratory health
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

The association of respiratory problems in a community sample with self- reported chemical intolerance. / Baldwin, C. M.; Bell, I. R.; O'Rourke, M. K.; Lebowitz, M. D.

In: European Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 13, No. 5, 1997, p. 547-552.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Baldwin, C. M. ; Bell, I. R. ; O'Rourke, M. K. ; Lebowitz, M. D. / The association of respiratory problems in a community sample with self- reported chemical intolerance. In: European Journal of Epidemiology. 1997 ; Vol. 13, No. 5. pp. 547-552.
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