Renters less likely to prevent asthma triggers than homeowners

According to a new study, asthma sufferers may be at a greater risk for complications if they choose to rent instead of owning a home.

The study, which was published in the August issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, found that asthma sufferers who rented their homes were less likely to make the recommended changes necessary to promote better breathing. Even if they were aware of what caused their respiratory issues, only 63 percent of renters would take steps to remediate triggers compared to 91 percent of owners.

Researchers found that the rise in asthma-related hospital visits coincided with a decrease in homeownership over the past decade. Because renters are less invested in their living spaces than homeowners, they often don't feel obligated to make healthy fixes to their living environment.

The precautions that doctors recommend are steps to prevent the presence of triggers in the air. Homeowners are more likely than renters to pursue a home inspection to detect for molds or leaks, the study shows.

Margaret Woda, a Washington D.C. area realtor, recommends on the Maryland Real Estate Blog that renters look into home inspections, as most of the issues people consider when moving in are simply cosmetic. Woda suggests that many people don't realize that respiratory health aren't the only concerns renters should be worried about.

Researchers recommend that simple precautions such as washing bed linens and vacuuming regularly to prevent dust mites are easy steps for renters and homeowners alike. However, going that one step further and contacting a home inspector to conduct procedures such as mold testing can go a long way in helping ensure a person's respiratory health.