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Feather bedding and house dust mite sensitization and airway disease in childhood


Ponsonby, AL and Kemp, A and Dwyer, T and Carmichael, A and Couper, D and Cochrane, JA, Feather bedding and house dust mite sensitization and airway disease in childhood, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 55, (6) pp. 556-562. ISSN 0895-4356 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0895-4356(01)00519-4


Feather bedding has been inversely associated with child wheeze and also with house dust mite (HDM) allergen levels. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the childhood component of a birth cohort study. Our aim was to examine the relation between feather bedding and HDM sensitization and airway disease. A total of 498 children (84% of eligible) residing in Northern Tasmania in 1997 who were eligible for the Tasmanian Infant Health Survey at birth in 1988 or 1989 participated. Outcome measures included atopic sensitization to Dermatophagoides farinae or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergens, spirometric lung function, and child respiratory symptoms using questions from the ISAAC study. HDM sensitization was strongly associated with frequent wheeze (more than 12 episodes of wheeze compared with no wheeze in the past year) (rate ratio [RR], 19.61; confidence interval [CI], 6.94-55.56) but only weakly associated with asthma ever (RR, 1.65; CI, 1.30-2.09). Feather quilt use was associated with reduced HDM sensitization (adjusted RR [ARR], 0.60; CI, 0.45-0.80) and also reduced frequent wheeze episodes over the past year (ARR, 0.24; CI, 0.07-0.86). The reduction in wheeze was more evident among HDM-sensitized children. These findings are consistent with the possible mechanisms for feather bedding of a reduction in initial HDM sensitization and an improvement in respiratory symptoms among HDM-sensitized children. However, prospective studies are required to fully exclude selection bias. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ponsonby, AL (Professor Anne Ponsonby)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Carmichael, A (Professor Allan Carmichael)
UTAS Author:Cochrane, JA (Mrs Jennifer Cochrane)
ID Code:24633
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Menzies Centre
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2003-07-07

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