Control of exposure to mite allergen and allergen-impermeable bed covers for adults with asthma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Ashley Woodcock
  • Louise Forster
  • Edward Matthews
  • Jeannett Martin
  • Louise Letley
  • And 7 others
  • External authors:
  • Madge Vickers
  • John Britton
  • David Strachan
  • Peter Howarth
  • Daniel Altmann
  • Christopher Frost
  • Adnan Custovic


BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of avoidance of house-dust-mite allergen (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 1 [Der p1]) in the management of asthma is uncertain. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of allergen-impermeable bed covers involving 1122 adults with asthma. The primary outcomes were the mean morning peak expiratory flow rate over a four-week period during the run-in phase and at six months and the proportion of patients who discontinued inhaled corticosteroid therapy as part of a phased-reduction program during months 7 through 12. Der p1 was measured in mattress dust in a 10 percent random subsample of homes at entry and at 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: The prevalence of sensitivity to dust-mite allergen was 65.4 percent in the group supplied with allergen-impermeable bed covers (active-intervention group) and 65.1 percent in the control group supplied with non-impermeable bed covers. The concentration of Der p1 in mattress dust was significantly lower in the active-intervention group at 6 months (geometric mean, 0.58 μg per gram vs. 1.71 μg per gram in the control group; P=0.01) but not at 12 months (1.05 μg per gram vs. 1.64 μg per gram; P=0.74). The mean morning peak expiratory flow rate improved significantly in both groups (from 410.7 to 419.1 liters per minute in the active-intervention group, P

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages11
JournalNew England Journal Of Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2003