HealthDay News — Infants in homes with frequent use of household cleaning products have an increased risk for childhood wheeze and asthma, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Jaclyn Parks, from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and colleagues used data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Cohort Study to examine the frequency of use of 26 household cleaning products in the homes of 2022 children when they were aged 3 to 4 months, based on responses from parental questionnaires.

The researchers found that the odds of recurrent wheeze, recurrent wheeze with atopy, and asthma diagnosis were increased for children in homes with a higher frequency of use of cleaning products in infancy (adjusted odds ratios, 1.35 [95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.64], 1.49 [1.02 to 2.16], and 1.37 [1.09 to 1.70], respectively); no increase was seen in the odds of atopy at age 3 years (adjusted odds ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.96 to 1.35). Infants in the highest tertile of the frequency of use score (FUS) exposure had higher odds of acquiring asthma compared with those in the lowest tertile of FUS exposure. For all outcomes, female infants had higher odds ratios than male infants, although the difference did not reach statistical significance.

“A precautionary approach to using cleaning products and targeted hygiene is reasonable for housekeeping where young children are present,” the authors write.

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The allergens, devices, and skin testing kits used in the study were provided by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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