Background: The use of anti-allergic mattress covers in patients with asthma can result in a large reduction in the level of house dust mite allergen in dust samples. Apart from a reduction in histamine induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness, there are few data on the effect of mattress covers on clinical efficacy and quality of life in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
Methods: Thirty patients with asthma and house dust mite allergy were studied in a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study. Before and after using anti-allergic covers for 1 year, dust was collected from the mattresses to determine concentrations of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1), and bronchial hyperresponsiveness and quality of life were measured. The patients scored their symptoms (lungs and nose), morning and evening peak flow values, and rescue medication for 14 days before and after the intervention period.
Results: There was a significant reduction in the concentration of Der p 1 in the dust collected from the mattresses in the actively treated group after 1 year compared with before treatment; no change was found in the placebo group. In both the actively treated and placebo groups there was no significant improvement in PC20 histamine. Quality of life improved similarly in both groups. The symptom score of the lower airways did not significantly change in either group. A significant decrease in nasal symptom score was seen in the actively treated group compared with before treatment, but there was no significant difference between the groups. No changes in morning and evening peak flow values, peak flow variability, nor in the use of rescue medication were found in either group.
Conclusion: The use of anti-allergic mattress covers results in significant reductions in Der p 1 concentrations in carpet-free bedrooms. However, in patients with moderate to severe asthma, airways hyperresponsiveness and clinical parameters are not affected by this effective allergen avoidance.
- mattress covers
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This study was supported by the Dutch Asthma Foundation.
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