Self-reported rhinitis of students from different universities in the Netherlands and its association with their home environment

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Abstract

Background
While the indoor environmental quality of student homes is a potential issue since it may affect the wellbeing of the students, the relations are still poorly studied. This study aimed to investigate the relations between home building characteristics and rhinitis in students.

Material and methods
A questionnaire was distributed among four groups of students from three different universities in The Netherlands. Self-reported characteristics of 396 students and their homes were linked to self-reported rhinitis. Logistic regression modelling was applied to explore relations between building characteristics and rhinitis.

Results
Among the students studied, 33% declared to suffer from rhinitis in the last 12 months. After full adjustment, the regression model revealed that having relatives with rhinitis was positively associated with rhinitis (OR:5.27, CI: 3.02–9.21) as well as the presence of less than one-year old furniture made of MDF in the bedroom (OR:2.26, CI: 1.17–4.37). Both working out and having no pets was negatively linked to rhinitis (respectively OR:0.50, CI: 0.25–0.99 and OR: 0.37, CI: 0.18–0.74). Opening the window in the bedroom more than once a week also reduced the risk for rhinitis (OR: 0.55, CI: 0.31–0.98).

Conclusions
The study shows that biological pollutants (caused by pets), chemical pollutants (caused by MDF in bedroom), ventilation (opening window in bedroom) and workout, were associated with rhinitis in students. Further studies are needed to investigate the underlying causes to prevent rhinitis in young adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Comfort
  • Health symptoms
  • Indoor environment
  • Rhinitis
  • Student homes

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