A recent study by the American Thoracic Society has found that people living with asthma, especially children, can find more severe attacks triggered when they possess a certain genetic makeup and live in a home with mold.
“We found that the interaction between environmental mold exposure and certain variants of chitinase genes were positively associated with severe asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization,” said a press release announcing the study.
Chitinase is an enzyme produced during an asthma attack, but people who have asthma have more of this enzyme than other people do.
A selection of children living in homes with both higher and lower than acceptable levels of mold in the home were given genetic tests that found variants of the chitinase gene combined with mold in the home created the most severe asthma attacks that could require a trip to the hospital.
Mold, a known allergen, is typically responsible for the development of asthma in previously unaffected individuals as well as for causing more severe attacks. Previous studies have found that mold may be a key factor in the increase in asthma over the past two decades, as well as weakening immune systems and chronic sinusitis that leave people more vulnerable to developing respiratory issues.
Illnesses like asthma that have the potential to be quite serious can make it that much more important to have your home tested for mold to ensure that indoor air quality in the home is healthy for your family.