Background: Airborne pollutants and indoor allergens increase asthma morbidity in inner-city children; therefore, reducing exposure, if feasible, should improve asthma morbidity. Objective: To conduct a randomized controlled trial of methods to reduce environmental pollutant and allergen exposure in the homes of asthmatic children living in the inner city. Methods: After the completion of questionnaires, spirometry and allergen skin tests, home inspection, and measurement of home air pollutant and allergen levels, 100 asthmatic children aged 6 to 12 years were randomized to the treatment group (home-based education, cockroach and rodent extermination, mattress and pillow encasings, and high-efficiency particulate air cleaner) or to the control group (treated at the end of the 1-year trial). Outcomes were evaluated by home evaluations at 6 and 12 months, clinic evaluation at 12 months, and multiple telephone interviews. Results: In the treatment group, 84% received cockroach extermination and 75% used the air cleaner. Levels of particulate matter 10 μm or smaller declined by up to 39% in the treatment group but increased in the control group (P < .001). Cockroach allergen levels decreased by 51% in the treatment group. Daytime symptoms increased in the control group and decreased in the treatment group (P = .04). Other measures of morbidity, such as spirometry findings, nighttime symptoms, and emergency department use, were not significantly changed. Conclusions: A tailored, multifaceted environmental treatment reduced airborne particulate matter and indoor allergen levels in inner-city homes, which, in turn, had a modest effect on morbidity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine