Modification of home environment had no effect on development of respiratory symptoms in infants

Previous studies have suggested that environmental exposures may be related to the development of respiratory symptoms in early life. Intervention studies, however, have not produced consistent findings.

The Peer Education in Pregnancy Study examined the effect of home environment intervention with pregnant women at risk for having children with asthma on the development of respiratory symptoms in their infants.

383 pregnant women whose unborn child had a first-degree relative with an allergic history were randomized to 1 of 2 intervention groups.

The intensive education group received 3 home visits focused on home environment modification.

Families in both intervention groups showed significant changes in several environmental factors:

- insects other than cockroaches
- use of mattress covers
- washing in hot water

Children in the intensive education group did not have statistically significant decrease in respiratory symptoms.

The results of this study do not provide support for a primary intervention focused on general modification of the home environment during pregnancy for high-risk children.

Mind map: Indoor allergens. See more Allergy and Immunology mind maps at

Where are highest concentrations of dust mites found in home? Pillows, stuffed animals, mattress, bedding? -- A: Mattress.


The effect of low-cost modification of the home environment on the development of respiratory symptoms in the first year of life. Persky V, Piorkowski J, Hernandez E, Chavez N, Wagner-Cassanova C, Freels S, Vergara C, Pelzel D, Hayes R, Gutierrez S, Busso A, Coover L, Thorne PS, Ownby D. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009 Dec;103(6):480-7.

How can I build an allergen-free home? AAAAI Ask the Expert has some tips:

Image sources: Heap of pancakes in Sweden; Yellow mite, Wikipedia, public domain.

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