A systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions used to reduce exposure to house dust and their effect on the development and severity of asthma

Clare MacDonald, Anna Sternberg, Paul R. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We assessed whether any household dust reduction intervention has the effect of increasing or decreasing the development or severity of atopic disease.
Data sources: Electronic searches on household intervention and atopic disease were conducted in January 2007 in EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. No date or language restriction was placed on the literature search.
Data extraction: We included randomized controlled trials comparing asthma outcomes in a household intervention group with either placebo intervention or no intervention.
Data sysnthesis: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight recruited antenatally and measured development of atopic disease. Six recruited known atopic individuals and measured disease status change. Meta-analyses on the prevention studies found that the interventions made no difference to the onset of wheeze but made a significant reduction in physician-diagnosed asthma. Meta-analysis of lung function outcomes indicated no improvement due to the interventions but found a reduction in symptom days. Qualitatively, health care was used less in those receiving interventions. However, in one study that compared intervention, placebo, and control arms, the reduction in heath care use was similar in the placebo and intervention arms.
Conclusions: This review suggests that there is not sufficient evidence to suggest implementing hygiene measures in an attempt to improve outcomes in existing atopic disease, but interventions from birth in those at high risk of atopy are useful in preventing diagnosed asthma but not parental-reported wheeze.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1695
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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