Impact of self-reported environmental mould exposure on COPD outcomes

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Abstract

Background: Indoor and outdoor mould exposure can affect respiratory symptoms, but its contribution to COPD outcomes such as exacerbation rates or antibiotics courses is not well defined. Some patients with COPD develop chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), but the contribution of environmental exposure is not known. Methods: We correlated activities or exposures related to mould with COPD outcomes in patients with COPD with or without CPA using a questionnaire. Results: One hundred and forty patients were included and 60 had CPA in addition to COPD. Seventy-six were male and mean age was 66.9 years (range 40–87). Thirty-nine (28%) were active cigarette smokers. On multivariate analysis, occupational contact with agricultural resources (p = 0.017), vacuuming once weekly or more often (p = 0.026) and not asking visitors to remove shoes on home entry (p = 0.035) were significantly more common in participants reporting ≥ 4 office visits for COPD symptoms in the last year. Living within one mile of industrial composting sites (p = 0.013), vacuuming once weekly or more often (p = 0.016) and not asking visitors to remove shoes on home entry (p = 0.028) were significantly more common in participants reporting ≥4 antibiotics courses in the last year. Patients with CPA showed a trend for residence within one mile of farms or agricultural areas (P = 0.088, OR 2, 95% CI 0.9–4.4). Conclusion: Activities potentially leading to mould exposure were common in a population with COPD with or without CPA and were associated with adverse COPD outcomes. Environmental mould exposure may play a role in the development of CPA in patients with COPD.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalPulmonology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 May 2021

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