Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New study on childhood asthma shows home-based interventions are cost-effective


New data suggest that a home-based environmental intervention program is a cost-effective way to improve the health of inner-city children who have moderate to severe asthma. The program successfully decreased allergen levels in the home and reduced asthma symptoms. The data also show that the cost would be substantially lower if the interventions were implemented in a community setting, and that they would be as cost-effective as many drug interventions.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided major funding to researchers at seven centers across the United States for the two-year study. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, also supported the research. Study results are now available online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"While the interventions were clearly effective in reducing asthma symptoms, we wanted to know whether the measures were cost-effective," says Meyer Kattan, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author on the study.

The home-based program was designed to target six major classes of allergens that trigger asthma symptoms--dust mites, cockroaches, pet dander, rodents, passive smoking and mold. The environmental interventions were tailored to each child’s sensitivity to the selected allergens and evidence of exposure to these asthma triggers.

Those enrolled in the program received educational home visits that included specific measures for reducing or eliminating allergen levels inside the home. These included allergen-impermeable covers on the child’s mattress, box spring and pillows; air purifiers with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters; vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters; and professional pest control.

The home-based interventions resulted in significant improvement in health status and reductions in resource use among the asthmatic children. Children who received the intervention had 19 percent fewer unscheduled clinic visits and a 13 percent reduction in the use of albuterol inhalers, small applicators that deliver asthma medication directly into the lungs. Children in the intervention group experienced 38 more symptom-free days over the two-year course of the study than those in the control group.

"These results show that tailored interventions such as these may have a substantial long-term impact on asthma symptoms and resource use among inner-city children," says NIEHS Director David A. Schwartz, M.D. "They may be particularly beneficial for asthmatic children who are exposed to multiple allergens and lack the proper access to quality health care."

To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the program, the researchers calculated the direct costs of the services provided to each child, along with an estimate of the symptom-free days gained as a result of the interventions. "The asthma intervention resulted in an average increase of 37.8 symptom-free days over the two-year period, at an estimated cost of $27.57 per symptom-free day," says Dr. Kattan.

"The findings of this study will enable policy makers and health care providers to more effectively allocate resources to achieve maximum benefits," says Peter J. Gergen, M.D., M.P.H, of NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, an author on the paper.

The study is part of the larger Inner-City Asthma Study, a multicenter project created to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental interventions on asthma incidence. The study participants included more than 900 children, ages 5 to 11, with moderate to severe asthma.

Most of the children were African American or Hispanic, living in low-income sections of seven urban areas--the Bronx, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Manhattan, Seattle/Tacoma and Tucson. Each child had to be allergic to at least one common indoor allergen, such as cockroach or house dust mite allergen.

NIAID News Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>