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 July 23, 2003
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Intervention Improves Asthma in Children
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By Linda Schultz, D.V.M., Ph.D., Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

SEATTLE (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- When inner-city families are taught how to improve their environment to decrease their exposure to allergens, their children wheeze less and miss less school due to asthma-related symptoms.

These are the findings of the two-year National Inner City Asthma Study funded by the National Institutes of Heath and headed by Wayne Morgan, M.D., from the University of Arizona.

The study included nearly 1,000 asthmatic children age 5 to 12 years from seven inner cities in the United States. The children were split into a control group and a group that received intervention counseling regarding ways to decrease asthma. Intervention measures included counseling the parents on asthma care, cockroach extermination, implementing dust mite control measures, and teaching means to control smoke and allergen exposure in their children.

Researchers measured the number of days the children wheezed, the number of days they were kept awake from asthmatic symptoms and the amount of school they missed.

Results show all measurements were significantly decreased in the group that received intervention measures and the findings were sustained over the two-year period following the initial intervention.

Dr. Morgan says the key to this study is, "The magnitude of the intervention result is almost that of children on inhaled corticosteroids. This is simply striking. Whether we're talking about missed school or wheezing, these kids do a lot better."

These data support the idea that increased health care provider education of parents in these environments can dramatically improve the quality of life for children.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Reported by Ivanhoe at the 99th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, Seattle, May 16-21, 2003

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