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Last Edited: 7/29/2010

Elevated symptom prevalence associated with ventilation type in office buildings
Written: 1996


The California Health Building Study was designed to assess relations between ventilation system type and office worker symptoms in a set of U.S. buildings selected without regard to worker complaints.  Twelve public office buildings in Northern California meeting specific eligibility criteria were studied in the summer of 1990: three naturally ventilated, three mechanically ventilated without air conditioning, and six air-conditioned buildings.  Questionnaire data were collected from 880 workers in selected spaces within the study buildings.  We adjusted effect estimates for various ventilation types for personal, job, and workplace factors using logistic regression, and alternatively using a mixed-effects model to adjust for correlated responses within study spaces.  Higher adjusted prevalences of most symptom outcomes were associated with both mechanical and air-conditioned ventilation, relative to natural.  These results are consistent with previous findings available from European buildings. 

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Suggested Citation

  • Mendell MJ, Fisk WJ, Deddens JA, Seavey WG, Smith AH, Smith DF, Hodgson AT, Daisey JM, Goldman LR. Elevated symptom prevalence associated with ventilation type in office buildings. Epidemiology 1996; 7(6):583-589.