The effect of the indoor environment on wheeze-and sleep-related symptoms in young Indian children

Jayagowri Sastry, Shubhangi Agawane, Mangala Rajan, Kathleen Black, Robert Laumbach, Maya Ramagopal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Environmental exposures have a significant effect on respiratory and sleep symptoms in young children. Although the effect of air pollution on the respiratory symptoms in young children is well-established, less is known about the effect of household environmental characteristics and practices on wheeze and sleep concerns. Aims: The aim of this pilot study is to explore the association between household environmental characteristics and practices with the symptoms of wheezing and sleep concerns in the past year in a convenience sample of young Indian children. Materials and Methods: A detailed questionnaire about the child's home environment and respiratory and sleep symptoms was administered to the caregivers of 190 outpatients aged between 6 months and 5 years old at a teaching hospital. Results: Indoor environmental characteristics and cleaning techniques were analyzed for the association with wheeze and sleep disorders. Half (50%) of the cohort had the symptoms of wheezing and 21% had occasional or frequent sleep concerns. Sleeping with a stuffed toy was significantly associated with both wheezing and sleep concerns (P = 0.05). Conclusions: Sleeping with a stuffed toy was a risk factor for wheeze and a risk factor for sleep disorders independent of wheeze.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalLung India
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Childhood respiratory illness
  • childhood sleep-related problems
  • indoor environment
  • sleep
  • wheeze

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