, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 129-137
Date: 26 Feb 2013

A Multiple Indicators Multiple Cause (MIMIC) Model of Respiratory Health and Household Factors in Chinese Children: The Seven Northeastern Cities (SNEC) Study

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In China, with the rapid economic development and improvement of living standards over the past few decades, the household living environment has shifted dramatically. The aim of the present study is to assess the impact of home environment factors on respiratory symptoms and asthma in Chinese children. Investigators analyzed data collected in the 25 districts from the seven Northeastern cities to examine health effects on respiratory symptoms and asthma in 31,049 children aged 2–14 years. Factor analysis was used to reduce 33 children’s lifestyle and household variables to six new ‘factor’ variables. The multiple indicators multiple causes approach was used to examine the relationship between indoor air pollution and respiratory health status, controlling for covariates. Factor analyses generated six factor variables of potential household risk factors from an original list of 33 variables. The respiratory symptoms and asthma were significantly associated with the recent home renovation factor (estimate = 0.076, p < 0.001), pet ownership factor (estimate = 0.095, p < 0.001), environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure factor (estimate = 0.181, p < 0.001) and PVC-flooring factor (estimate = 0.031, p = 0.007). Home ventilation factor was not related to any respiratory condition (estimate = 0.028, p = 0.074). Independent respiratory health effects existed for multiple household environmental factors recent home renovation, pet ownership, ETS, and PVC-flooring.