Albion Monitor /News
[Editor's note: Although most of these four recent reports have appeared in the mainstream press, we publish them together to show that a body of scientific work emerges that links asthma as a common disease of poverty. This is important because African American children have asthma more often and more frequently die from the respiratory disease than white children.]

Dust Mites, Season of Birth Affect Child's Chance of Allergies, Asthma

A clear relationship between a child's IgE level and the time of year they were born
The season may be the reason your son or daughter is sneezing.

Researchers at Henry Ford Health System have found the time of year a child is born and the amount of exposure they have to dust mites are related to their chances of developing allergies or asthma.

The study found that children born in September, October or November had the highest IgE serum levels, while those born in June, July or August had the lowest.

The study tested 90 white, middle-class children's IgE serum levels D a variable used to test a person's susceptibility to allergies and one of the best indicators of the risk of asthma.

"We found that serum levels were higher when children were exposed to airborne dust mites, such as those found in mattresses, pillows, carpets and dust within the home," said Dennis Ownby, M.D., director of allergy research at Henry Ford Health System. "To our surprise, we also found a clear relationship between a child's IgE level and the time of year they were born."

This study gives parents more control over their child's health because there are preventive measures parents can take to reduce dust in the home, Dr. Ownby said. By properly covering mattresses, box springs and pillows with dust mite-free encasings, parents can reduce their child's chances of having allergies or asthma.

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Albion Monitor June 1, 1997 (

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