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Mold Exposure Tied to Worse COPD Outcomes

Mold may increase the risk for flare-ups and hospitalization with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

elderly woman on oxygen

WEDNESDAY, June 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Activities potentially leading to mold exposure are associated with adverse chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) outcomes, according to a study published online June 12 in Pulmonology.

Chris Kosmidis, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed activities and exposures related to mold in 140 patients with COPD, including those with (60 patients) or without chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). The impact of mold exposure on COPD outcomes was assessed.

The researchers found that occupational contact with agricultural resources, vacuuming once weekly or more often, and not asking visitors to remove shoes on home entry were significantly more common in participants reporting four or more office visits for COPD symptoms in the previous year. Participants reporting four or more antibiotic courses in the previous year were significantly more likely to live within one mile of industrial composting sites, vacuum at least once weekly, and not ask visitors to remove shoes on home entry. There was a trend for patients with CPA to reside within one mile of farms or agricultural areas.

"We're not able to generalize about the specific risk to COPD patients exposed to mold from this relatively small sample," Kosmidis said in a statement. "However, it would be fair to conclude that activities which bring COPD patients into contact with mold may increase the risk of flaring and hospitalization."

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