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Linear discriminant analysis of housing conditions and prevalence of mites between homes of allergic children and control subjects in Nagoya, Japan


, : Linear discriminant analysis of housing conditions and prevalence of mites between homes of allergic children and control subjects in Nagoya, Japan. Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology 46(1): 49-57

In order to elucidate the housing conditions and prevalence of mites characteristic of homes with allergic children, surveys of domestic mites were conducted in 22 wooden houses in and around Nagoya City from September 1983 to June 1984 at about 3-month intervals. Allergic children suffering from bronchial asthma or atopic dermatitis and positive to house dust mites (RAST scores, 3 to 4) were found in 11 homes. They had been given a set of instructions for preventive measures against allergy. The remaining 11 homes had no allergic children and served as controls. The data were examined by Student's t-test of mean difference and linear discriminant analysis. There was no significant difference in the housing conditions between the two groups of homes, except that flooring scores' were significantly lower in the homes of allergic children. In some of them, floors of tatami or carpet had been replaced with wooden or plastic floors as a preventive measure. The flooring score was also selected as a significant variable in discriminating the two groups of homes. The classification accuracy was 90.5% before the selection of variables and 76.2 after the selection. While the density of D. farinae and the total number of mites were significantly less in the homes of allergic children than in the control homes, Simpson's indexes of diversity were significantly higher in the former. The diversity index and the densities of D. farinae and Acaridae were selected as significant variables in discriminating the two groups of homes. The classification accuracy by the analysis of mite prevalence was 100% before the selection of variables and 90.9% after the selection. The lower flooring scores most likely explained why fewer D. farinae and the lower total number of mites were detected from the homes of allergic children than from the control homes. The results also suggested that the indoor air humidity in the homes of allergic children might be higher than that in the control homes.

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