Exploring Asthma in Rural, Western Kenya
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In a pilot study of a convenience sample of eighteen self-identified asthmatic Luo people from the Upper Nyakach Plateau in western Kenya, a cross-sectional study was performed with a sample size of n = 18. The purpose of the study was to assess the effect of risk factors on lung function among asthmatics from the Upper Nyakach Plateau. Major predictor variables described the type of dwelling the subject lived in, presence of various animals, and location of cooking fire. The effects of these predictors on lung function were measured using the outcome variable of FEV1/FVC Ratio. Statistically significant protective (higher lung function) results were dirt floors within a dwelling (r2 = 0.2380, p = 0.04) and ownership of goats (r2 = 0.2651, p = 0.0288). There were no statistically significant negative results for other major predictor variables, but trends of decreased lung function were observed with the ownership of cats, dogs, and chickens. Trends of increased lung function were observed with mud walls, cooking fire located inside of the dwelling, presence of cows or sheep, and keeping animals outdoors only. This pilot study suggests that traditional housing (dirt floors) and ownership of goats were associated with a statistically significant increase in lung function among asthmatic Luo people.