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Clinical success in mite avoidance

It's a proven fact - patient education plus effective allergen avoidance can improve asthma. This fact was demonstrated in a large study on inner city families in the USA. Here's how the doctors did it. Inner city asthmatic children were individually tested for allergy triggers. Once identified they were then taught how to reduce exposure and given various interventions to help avoid contact with their triggers.
In a large clinical study in seven U.S. cities, 937 asthmatic children (age 5 to 11) were individually clinically tested for allergy triggers and exposure to tobacco smoke. The study then evaluated the effectiveness of multifaceted, home based, environmental interventions designed to improve individual symptoms and decrease their use of health care services. Common allergens detected were from cockroach, cat, mould and house dust mites. The goal of the study was the modification of behaviour change through interventions and education. Interventions included, allergen-impermeable covers on mattress and pillows to reduce mite exposure, vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter or bare-floor brush for cleaning hard floors, professional pest control visits if cockroach was discovered. In addition, if passive smoke, mould, dog or cat allergens were identified as triggers, a HEPA air purifier was installed in the child's bedroom.

The study demonstrated sustained reductions in indoor allergen levels and sustained improvements in reported asthma symptoms. A year-long study with one year follow-up. Please note: all successful mite avoidance studies include anti-mite beds and bedding as 'first-amongst-equals' in mite allergen avoidance.


The clinical study was published as: 'Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma', Morgan W J et al, 2004: 351: p 1068-80, New England Journal of Medicine