The Breathe-Easy Home: the impact of asthma-friendly home construction on clinical outcomes and trigger exposure

Am J Public Health. 2011 Jan;101(1):55-62. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300008.


Objectives: We examined the asthma-control benefit of moving into an asthma-friendly Breathe-Easy home (BEH).

Methods: We used a quasi-experimental design to compare the asthma outcomes of 2 groups of low-income children and adolescents with asthma: 34 participants who moved into a BEH, and a local matched cohort of 68 participants who had received a previous asthma-control intervention. Both groups received in-home asthma education. BEHs were constructed with moisture-reduction features, enhanced ventilation systems, and materials that minimized dust and off-gassing.

Results: BEH residents' asthma-symptom-free days increased from a mean of 8.6 per 2 weeks in their old home to 12.4 after 1 year in the BEH. The proportion of BEH residents with an urgent asthma-related clinical visit in the previous 3 months decreased from 62% to 21%. BEH caretakers' quality of life increased significantly. The BEH group improved more than did the comparison group, but most differences in improvements were not significant. Exposures to mold, rodents, and moisture were reduced significantly in BEHs.

Conclusions: Children and adolescents with asthma who moved into an asthma-friendly home experienced large decreases in asthma morbidity and trigger exposure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Construction Materials
  • Environment, Controlled*
  • Facility Design and Construction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Housing*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Quality of Life
  • Ventilation
  • Washington