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Table 2 Summary effect estimate for the relationship between any IM exposure (highest estimates in the studies) and Respiratory symptoms (n = 15), and stratified analysis according to study characteristics

From: Association of indoor microbial aerosols with respiratory symptoms among under-five children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Stratification Study Characteristics (Number of studies) I2 (%) Summary Effect Estimate for pooled adjusted data [95% CI] P-value
Population All studies (15) [12, 18, 25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37] 78 1.24 [1.09, 1.41] 0.001
Study sizea Large (6) [25, 30, 32, 34,35,36] 82 1.14 [1.02, 1.38] 0.04
Small (9) [12, 18, 26,27,28,29, 31, 33, 37] 67 1.33 [1.11, 1.59] 0.002
Geographical Location United States (11) [12, 18, 25,26,27,28,29,30,31, 33, 37] 63 1.35 [1.15, 1.57] 0.0001
Europe (4) [32, 34,35,36] 81 1.06 [0.87, 1.28] 0.56
Year of Publication 2010 – 2019 (2) [12, 34] 84 1.34 [0.58, 3.09] 0.49
2000 – 2009 (13) [18, 25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33, 35,36,37] 60 1.25 [1.12, 1.41] 0.0002
Method of IM Assessment Air sampling (3) [12, 25, 28] 2 1.48 [1.25, 1.75] 0.00001
Dust sampling (11) [18, 26, 27, 29, 31,32,33,34,35,36,37] 76 1.12 [0.98, 1.29] 0.11
Home Inspection (1) [30] NA 1.66 [0.85, 3.21] 0.14
Method of diagnosis Doctor diagnosed (2) [18, 28] NA 1.60 [1.28, 2.01]  < 0.0001
Self-reported (13) [12, 25,26,27, 29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37] 76 1.19 [1.04, 1.35] 0.009
Study Quality Low risk of bias (7) [12, 18, 25, 27, 28, 31, 32] 59 1.31 [1.12, 1.55] 0.001
High risk of bias (8) [26, 29, 30, 33,34,35,36,37] 75 1.17 [0.99, 1.37] 0.06
  1. NA Not applicable
  2. aA large study was defined as a cohort study with a sample size of greater than 600