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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Dec;95(6):518-24.

Home environmental intervention in inner-city asthma: a randomized controlled clinical trial.

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Department of Pediatrics Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



Airborne pollutants and indoor allergens increase asthma morbidity in inner-city children; therefore, reducing exposure, if feasible, should improve asthma morbidity.


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.


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.


In the treatment group, 84% received cockroach extermination and 75% used the air cleaner. Levels of particulate matter 10 microm 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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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