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Thursday, 01 November 2018

Asthma charity raises concerns over children living in mouldy homes

Written by Ella Pickover

Children growing up in homes with mould are more likely to suffer respiratory problems, a charity has warned as it called for more action to reduce health inequalities.

A new report on inequalities among asthma patients states that children growing up in homes with mould are up to three times more prone to coughing and wheezing.

Asthma UK said some causes of asthma and triggers for asthma attacks can impact disadvantaged groups more than their wealthier counterparts.

Dust mites and mould are more common in cheaper, less well-constructed houses, the authors of the charity's latest report wrote.

"Children growing up in homes with mould are between one and a half and three times more prone to coughing and wheezing - symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions," according to the Asthma UK report.

Mould can be a consequence of inadequately heated properties, which in turn may be a consequence of fuel poverty, the authors added.

The report highlights numerous disadvantages faced by asthma patients living in poorer neighbourhoods.

Asthma UK said that where a patient lives affects their likelihood of being admitted to hospital due to asthma, or dying from the condition.

The report suggests that people from poorer backgrounds are more likely to be exposed to air pollution, have higher smoking rates, encounter challenges accessing care, have a lower awareness of asthma management, and have poor housing conditions.

The charity is calling on health officials to reduce such inequalities.

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, said: "It is truly shocking that people in deprived areas are not only struggling to make ends meet but if they have asthma they are more likely to end up in hospital or die from an asthma attack.

"We should all have an equal right to breathe.

"Everyone with asthma should be entitled to live in an area free of dirty air, in decent housing that doesn't affect their health and get the basic asthma care from healthcare professionals that they are entitled to."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Wikimedia.