Pediatr Allergy Respir Dis.  2012 Mar;22(1):100-109.

The Social and Environmental Risk Factors of Allergic Rhinitis in Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Green Hospital, Guri, Korea.
  • 2Environmental Health Center for Allergic Rhinitis, Inha University Hospital, Ministry of Environment, Incheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.


We investigated the risk factors related to the development and aggravation of allergic rhinitis, which is associated with residential environment and lifestyle habits of children residing in Incheon.
A total of 182 children diagnosed with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis and 67 healthy children were enrolled. A detailed questionnaire of the environmental characteristics and the dietary habits were completed by the parents. Further, skin prick tests with 14 common allergens were performed.
The mean age of the children with allergic rhinitis and healthy control was 8.2+/-2.8 and 9.4+/-2.0 years, respectively. The presence of indoor mold was associated with an increased risk of development of allergic rhinitis. (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.96-9.27) Among the food groups, there was no significant difference of the daily intake of milk and yogurt between the patients and the controls. However, daily intake of vegetables, except Kimchi, and daily intake of fruits or fruit juice were associated with a decreased risk of allergic rhinitis. (aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20-0.92 / aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.13-0.90, respectively)
The results indicate that an indoor dampness is one of the risk factors of development and aggravation of allergic rhinitis. Control of indoor humidity and daily intake of fruits and vegetables can prevent the development and control symptoms of allergic rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis; Risk factors; Diet; Mold; Vegetable; Fruit; Children
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