Placebo-controlled trial of house dust mite-impermeable mattress covers: effect on symptoms in early childhood

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Aug 1;166(3):307-13. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2106026.


We investigated the effect of house dust mite (HDM)-allergen avoidance on the development of respiratory symptoms, atopic dermatitis, and atopic sensitization by performing a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. In total, 1,282 allergic pregnant women were selected (416 received HDM allergen-impermeable mattress covers for the parents' and child's mattress in the third trimester of pregnancy [active], 394 received placebo covers, 472 received no intervention). Data on allergen exposure, clinical symptoms, and immunoglobulin E were collected prospectively. The prevalence of night cough without a cold in the second year of life was lower in the group with active covers compared with the group with placebo covers (adjusted odds ratio 0.65; 95% confidence interval 0.4-1.0). No effect of the intervention was seen on other respiratory symptoms, atopic dermatitis, and total and specific immunoglobulin E. It can be concluded that application of HDM-impermeable mattress covers on the child's and parents' beds reduced night cough, but not other respiratory symptoms, atopic dermatitis, and atopic sensitization in the first 2 years of life. Follow-up will determine the long-term effect of the intervention on the development of atopic disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Bedding and Linens*
  • Beds*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / prevention & control*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mites*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology*
  • Respiration Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Tick Control*


  • Dust