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Child’s Bedding May Increase Asthma Risk

Results of a new research study show that certain bedding can contribute to wheezing in infants. A research study appearing in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health showed that exposures to synthetic bedding in infancy are prospectively associated with childhood wheezing. Also, home environmental conditions may modify this association.

According to the study, bedding and sheets made of synthetic fibers double the risk of asthma in children by age 7 while sheets with natural fibers appear to reduce the risk of wheezing. The research involved 863 children who participated in an infant survey in 1988 and an asthma study in Tasmania, Australia, in 1995, seven years later. Outcomes measured included recent and frequent wheezing.

The results showed that composite, or synthetic, infant bedding used was associated with recent wheezing and the wheezing effects increased the more dust mite-rich bedding was used. Those infants sleeping in synthetic bedding had an increased number of house dust mite-rich bedding. Effects were further enhanced by home environmental factors of bedroom heating, recent bedroom painting, and absence of bedroom carpeting. When any 2 or more of these environmental factors were present, a strong relationship to wheezing was evident.

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