Exposure to the environment has been linked to poor COPD outcomes. About a third of people with COPD have allergy sensitization, but it’s unclear if exposure to allergens in the house is connected to products. A study aimed to t-investigate the prevalence of allergen sensitization and its links to symptoms and exacerbation risk in patients with COPD who have been exposed to prevalent indoor allergens. Former smokers with COPD were tested for allergy sensitivity to five common indoor allergens. Researchers tried the presence of matching allergens in home settling dust. They established sensitization and exposure status and adjusted models that examined relationships with longitudinal outcomes such as symptoms, lung function, and exacerbations.

Researchers studied the effects of sensitization/exposure status on lung function. The average age of the 183 people studied was 67.3 (SD 8.22), with an average FEV1 of 53.2% (SD 17.6%). Around 77% of individuals had been exposed to at least one allergen test, and 17% had developed sensitization due to that exposure. Sensitization with exposure was linked to worse lung function (β-8.29, 95% CI -14.80 to -1.77), a higher SGRQ (6.71, 95% CI 0.17 to 13.25), and a greater probability of exacerbation after adjustments (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.11 to 4.79). The associations appeared to be stronger in people with poor lung function. Allergen exposure is prevalent in COPD patients, and it is linked to poor outcomes in those with concurrent allergen sensitivity. Allergens are identified as a significant home exposure addressed with comprehensive home environmental modification measures to enhance COPD outcomes.