Allergies, allergic comorbidities and the home environment in pediatric asthma in Southern Florida

Nadia T. Saif, Gary I. Kleiner, Lourdes Q. Forster, Eugene R. Hershorin, Andrew A. Colin, Mehdi Mirsaeidi, Naresh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Environmental exposure is critical in sensitization to environmental allergens and pediatric asthma morbidity, especially in tropical climates where children are perennially exposed to bioaerosols, such as pollen and mold spores, and endotoxins. Objective: This cross-sectional study examines the association of allergies, associated allergic comorbidities, and the home environment separately and synergistically in pediatric asthma, including in asthma prevalence, severity of asthma, and undiagnosed asthma, in South Florida. Methods: An online survey was administered to the parents of children attending two of the University of Miami pediatric clinics from June to October 2016. Descriptive, factor, and multivariate regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Results: Of 163 children, 22% (36) children had physician-diagnosed asthma; 10% and 32% had allergic rhinitis diagnosis and rhinitis symptoms, respectively, in the past. The allergy diagnosis age was 2.3 years higher than the asthma diagnosis age (p < 0.01). Children with ≥ 2 allergies were 12.8 times more likely to have physician-diagnosed asthma than those without allergies (p < 0.01). Children with allergies and allergic rhinitis were 4.3 (p < 0.05) times more likely to have asthma, and those with asthma were 15 (p < 0.05) times more likely to have an asthma attack than those without known allergies and allergic rhinitis. Conclusion: Allergies and associated comorbidities are risk factors of asthma, asthma persistence, and multiple allergies exacerbate their effects. Early screening for allergies and treatment are warranted to manage asthma. Since the home environment plays an important role in sensitization to allergens, further research is needed to assess home-environmentmediated allergic conditions in the onset and persistence of asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4142
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Environmental allergy
  • Pediatric asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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