Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ambient Formaldehyde Levels and Allergic Disorders Among Japanese Pregnant Women: Baseline Data From the Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study
Ichiro Matsunaga MEa, Yoshihiro Miyake MD, PhDb, , , Toshiaki Yoshida PhDa, Shoichi Miyamoto MBAc, Yukihiro Ohya MD, PhDd, Satoshi Sasaki MD, PhDe, Keiko Tanaka DDS, PhDb, Hajime Oda MD, PhDa, Osamu Ishiko MD, PhDf, Yoshio Hirota MD, PhDc and The Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study Group*
aOsaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Osaka, Japan
bDepartment of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan
cDepartment of Public Health, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
dDivision of Allergy, Department of Medical Specialties, National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan
eNutritional Epidemiology Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan
fDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
Available online 4 December 2007.
The effects of formaldehyde (FA) exposure on allergic disorders are not clearly understood. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between FA exposure and the prevalence of allergic disorders in Japan.
Subjects were 998 pregnant women. Participants were considered to have asthma, atopic eczema, or allergic rhinitis (including cedar pollinosis) if they had received any medical treatment for any of these allergic disorders during the previous 12 months. Passive air sampling tubes were worn for 24 hours and analyzed for FA.
When FA levels were categorized into four groups, there was a tendency for a positive exposure-response relationship between FA levels and the prevalence of atopic eczema, although the adjusted odds ratio for highest vs. lowest FA categories did not reach statistical significance. When FA levels were categorized into two groups to assess the effects of exposure to high levels of FA on allergic disorders, FA levels of 47 ppb or more were independently associated with an increased prevalence of atopic eczema (adjusted odds ratio = 2.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.015.01). The positive association was more pronounced in women with a negative familial allergic history than in those with a positive familial allergic history. No clear association was found between FA levels and the prevalence of asthma or allergic rhinitis.
FA exposure may be associated with an increased prevalence of atopic eczema in Japanese pregnant women.
Key Words: Asthma; Cross-sectional Studies; Eczema; Japan; Pregnant Women; Rhinitis
Abbreviations: FA, formaldehyde; OMCHS, Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study; OR, odds ratio; 95% CI, 95% confidence interval
Address correspondence to: Yoshihiro Miyake, MD, PhD, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan. Tel.: +81-92-801-1011 (Ext. 3311); fax: +81-92-863-8892.
* Other members of the Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study Group are listed in the Appendix.