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Parents Actions Against Asthma Triggers Not Always Beneficial

(August 17, 2004 - Although parents are taking action against their child's asthma triggers, new research indicates that their efforts are not always beneficial, according to a study in the August 2004 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI). The JACI is the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

Michael D. Cabana, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the University of Michigan Health System studied 896 parents and found that 81% of parents took some sort of action to reduce or remove an asthma trigger. However, over half (51%) tried an environmental control measure that was unlikely to help.

The study found:

> 216 children, 24%, lived in a home with a smoker. Only 6% of respondents who smoked reported any attempt to reduce their child's smoke exposure, despite proven benefits of reducing smoke exposure.

> 224 respondents had purchased an air filter, even though only 157 of them reported an environmental trigger that would have needed one.

> Few actions, 1%, performed by parents were harmful or not recommended. In all cases families purchased a humidifier, even though their children's asthma was triggered by dust mites.

> Receiving asthma education and the number of primary care visits in last year were associated with an increased possibility of pursuing any action to address environmental triggers.

These results suggest that parents spend a great deal of effort on actions that do not reduce their child's asthma triggers. Health care providers need to be able to help families identify the children's specific triggers and educate parents about effective ways to reduce or eliminate their effect on the child's health.

Source: AAAAI



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