In a questionnaire survey of a random sample of 1000 children aged 7 years, a significantly greater proportion of those living in homes reported as damp were affected by wheeze (22% v 11%), day cough, night cough, and chesty colds. Simultaneous estimation of relative humidity in the bedrooms of 778 children and continuous 7 day recordings of ambient temperature and humidity in a stratified sample of 317 bedrooms showed no association with the same respiratory symptoms. No correlation was found between bedroom conditions and baseline ventilatory function or exercise induced reduction in FEV1. These results run counter to the widely held belief that indoor temperature and humidity are important determinants of respiratory ill health, although they do not directly exclude effects due to mites or moulds, whose survival is determined by the humidity of their respective microenvironments.
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