Effect of improved home ventilation on asthma control and house dust mite allergen levels

G.R. Wright, S.G. Howieson, C. McSharry, A.D. McMahon, R. Chaudhuri, J. Thompson, I. Donnelly, R.G. Brooks, Alan Lawson, L. Jolly, L. McAlpine, E.M. King, M.D. Chapman, S. Wood, N.C. Thomson

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Abstract

The warm, humid environment in modern homes favours the dust mite population, but the effect of improved home ventilation on asthma control has not been established. We tested the hypothesis that a domestic mechanical heat recovery ventilation system (MHRV), in addition to allergen avoidance measures, can improve asthma control by attenuating re-colonization rates. We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel group trial of the installation of MHRV activated in half the homes of 120 adults with asthma, allergic to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. All homes had carpets steam cleaned and new bedding and mattress covers at baseline. The primary outcome was morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) at 12 months. At 12 months, the primary end-point; change in mean morning PEF as compared with baseline, did not differ between the MHRV group and the control group (mean difference 13.5 l/min, 95% CI: −2.6 to 29.8, P = 0.10). However, a secondary end-point; evening mean PEF, was significantly improved in the MHRV group (mean difference 24.5 l/min, 95% CI: 8.9-40.1, P = 0.002). Indoor relative humidity was reduced in MHRV homes, but there was no difference between the groups in Der p 1 levels, compared with baseline. The addition of MHRV to house dust mite eradication strategies did not achieve a reduction in mite allergen levels, but did improve evening PEF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1680
Number of pages10
JournalAllergy
Volume64
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • asthma
  • clinical trial
  • house dust mite
  • placebo-controlled
  • ventilation

Impacts

Changes in building standards leading to a reduction in the prevalence of asthma

Stirling Howieson (Participant)

Impact: Impact - for External PortalQuality of life and safety, Health and welfare - new products, guidelines and services, Environment and sustainability - natural world and built environment

Cite this

Wright, G. R., Howieson, S. G., McSharry, C., McMahon, A. D., Chaudhuri, R., Thompson, J., Donnelly, I., Brooks, R. G., Lawson, A., Jolly, L., McAlpine, L., King, E. M., Chapman, M. D., Wood, S., & Thomson, N. C. (2009). Effect of improved home ventilation on asthma control and house dust mite allergen levels. Allergy, 64(11), 1671-1680. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02098.x