Cockroaches and Mice are Asthma's BFF

Asthma symptoms exacerbated by household pests

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Cockroaches and mice are not just pests but are also a cause for allergic reactions. A new study shows it is common for children with asthma to be sensitive to cockroaches or mice.

According to a new study, over one-third of children hospitalized due to asthma or were sensitive to either cockroaches or mice. These results could help families better manage their child's asthma and help remove possible household irritants.

"Ask your child's allergist about available allergy testing options."

Researchers from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio studied 416 children, aged from one to 16, from August 2010 to February 2011. The children had been hospitalized for wheezing or asthma. The study discovered that 34 percent of the hospitalized children were sensitive to either cockroaches or mice.

Patients older than four years of age were more likely to be sensitive to either cockroaches or mice compared to younger children. Only eight percent of children were allergic to both cockroaches and mice.

The study also broke down the findings based on the economic status of the families of the children and the results were interesting.

Children from low-income families were more likely to be allergic to cockroaches than children from higher-income families. Children from higher-income families were more likely to be allergic to mice. While these statistics are interesting, it was not enough to be classified as significant.

More importantly, this study gives doctors and families a better understanding of possible causes for asthma which may cause hospitalization. Having a child tested for allergies is important and should be done if a child is hospitalized. This would allow for better asthma management or an intervention plan to be developed to help eliminate possible irritants.

The researchers concluded that allergy testing during hospital admission would help high-risk children. Parents should be aware that cockroaches and mice are not just household pests but also play a role in their child's asthma. Allergy testing is crucial in managing a child's asthma or wheezing symptoms.

This study was presented at the  World Allergy Organization XXII World Allergy Congress.

All results are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 9, 2011
Last Updated:
December 12, 2011