Sensitization to mouse and cockroach allergens and asthma morbidity in urban minority youth: Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino American (GALA-II) and Study of African-Americans, Asthma, Genes, and Environments (SAGE-II)

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Jul;117(1):43-49.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2016.05.004. Epub 2016 May 27.


Background: Pest allergen sensitization is associated with asthma morbidity in urban youth but minimally explored in Latino populations. Specifically, the effect of mouse sensitization on the risk of asthma exacerbation has been unexplored in Latino subgroups.

Objective: To evaluate whether pest allergen sensitization is a predictor of asthma exacerbations and poor asthma control in urban minority children with asthma.

Methods: Latino and African American children (8-21 years old) with asthma were recruited from 4 sites across the United States. Logistic regression models evaluated the association of mouse or cockroach sensitization with asthma-related acute care visits or hospitalizations.

Results: A total of 1,992 children with asthma in the Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino American (GALA-II) and Study of African-Americans, Asthma, Genes, and Environments (SAGE-II) cohorts were studied. Asthmatic children from New York had the highest rate of pest allergen sensitization (42% mouse, 56% cockroach), with the lowest rate in San Francisco (4% mouse, 8% cockroach). Mouse sensitization, more than cockroach, was associated with increased odds of acute care visits (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.47; 95% CI, 1.07-2.03) or hospitalizations (aOR, 3.07; 95% CI, 1.81-5.18), even after controlling for self-reported race and site of recruitment. In stratified analyses, Mexican youth sensitized to mouse allergen did not have higher odds of asthma exacerbation. Other Latino and Puerto Rican youth sensitized to mouse had higher odds of hospitalization for asthma (aORs, 4.57 [95% CI, 1.86-11.22] and 10.01 [95% CI, 1.77-56.6], respectively) but not emergency department visits.

Conclusion: Pest allergen sensitization is associated with a higher odds of asthma exacerbations in urban minority youth. Puerto Rican and Other Latino youth sensitized to mouse were more likely to have asthma-related hospitalizations than Mexican youth.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cockroaches / immunology*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Geography, Medical
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Mice
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Morbidity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens