2016 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 11-17
Background: House dust mites (HDMs) are the most common allergens in Japan. Washing futons (bedding) can reduce the levels of HDM allergens within them. Therefore, we studied the effects of futon washing on asthma control in children with HDM allergy.
Methods: This was not a randomized study. Ten asthmatic children with HDM allergy were enrolled in this study, and their futons were washed with warm water and dried with hot air in March/April 2013 (active group). Nine asthmatic children with HDM allergy whose futons were not washed were also included as a control group, but 2 of these children dropped out. The amounts of Der 1 (Der p1+Der f1) in the dust collected from the subjects’ futons were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: All 5 of the active group futons that had Der 1 levels of >100 ng/m2 in March/April 2013 exhibited lower Der 1 concentrations in July/August 2013. The controller therapies of 4 of these 5 active group children had been stepped down in July/August 2013. The Der 1 levels of 7 active group futons were lower in March/April 2014 than in March/April 2013. During the 1-year study period, the controller therapy was stepped down and unchanged in 8 and 2 of the active group children, respectively. In addition, it was stepped down, unchanged, and stepped up in 3, 1, and 3 of the control group children, respectively, and the differences between the groups were not significant (P = 0.119; 2x3 contingency table/Fisher’s exact test). However, when the daily controller therapy scores for March/April, July/August, and November/December 2013 and March/April 2014 were compared using Friedman’s test, it was found that the changes were significant in the active group (P = 0.001), but not in the control group (P = 0.996).
Conclusion: Washing futons had beneficial effects on asthma patients with HDM allergy. Washing futons is burdensome, but it might aid HDM avoidance, and hence, promote asthma control.