The study, in seven sites in inner cities across the United States, aims
to reduce the severity of asthma among low-income children.
Participating research institutions are located in Boston, Mass.;
Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; New York, N.Y. (Bronx and Manhattan);
Seattle, Wash.; and Tucson, Ariz.
Asthma has been increasing in the United States over several decades.
This increase is most apparent among children, especially those living
in inner cities. Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from asthma.
Annually, in the United States about 500,000 asthma-related
hospitalizations occur and 5,000 people die.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID director, says, "This study affirms our
commitment to learn more about how to reduce asthma in our inner-city
pediatric populations, children primarily of African American and
Hispanic heritage. Our goal is to aid children and their families by
providing valuable insights on managing a child's asthma through
education, environmental controls and behavior modification."
NIEHS Director Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., adds, "We want to enable inner-city
families to help their kids avoid asthma attacks by modifying their
environment. That means reducing the allergens - the things the
youngsters are allergic to - with such things as plastic covers on their
pillows and mattresses, air filters, and the elimination of mold and
Focusing on more than 1,000 children between the ages of 4 and 12 with
moderate to severe asthma, the study will test the effectiveness of two
interventions. One intervention entails a novel communication/physician
education system in which patient information on asthma severity,
medication use and health care utilization, obtained through bimonthly
phone interviews, will be interpreted according to the asthma care
guidelines developed by the National Asthma Education and Prevention
Program. This information will be provided to the asthma patients'
primary care physicians, and the study will evaluate the value of this
exchange in improving medical care.
The other intervention involves educating families about reducing indoor
allergens and passive cigarette smoke, which may trigger asthma attacks.
In addition, extensive allergen reduction measures will be undertaken at
no cost to participating families. These measures will include
professional cockroach extermination; extensive and repeated cleaning;
repair of cracks and pest entry points; encasing of mattresses and
pillows in dust-proof or allergen-proof covers (zippered plastic); and
using air filters to reduce airborne allergens, including allergens from
household pets (such as cats and dogs) and fungal allergens. Follow-up
home evaluations will assess the impact of the intervention on the
levels of indoor allergens. The effectiveness of the intervention will
be assessed by its capacity to reduce the severity of asthma in these
In addition to NIAID and NIEHS, this study is supported by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) Pediatric Research Initiative. NIH is an
agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NIAID, a component of NIH located in Bethesda, Md., conducts and
supports research aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating illnesses
such as AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis,
asthma and allergies.
NIEHS, another component of NIH in Research Triangle Park, N.C.,
conducts and supports research to understand the impact of the
environment on human diseases such as asthma, translates this research
into strategies to prevent disease and promote health, and communicates
this information to the public.
The NIH Pediatric Research Initiative is a continuing effort to
strengthen the pediatric biomedical research portfolio, encourage
collaborative efforts across institutes in high priority areas, and to
assure expanding opportunities for advancement in scientific
investigations involving children.
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are
available on the Internet via the NIAID web site at
Those interested in participating in the study should contact the
institution in their local community.
Ellen Crain, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
George T. O'Connor, M.D.
Boston University School of Medicine
80 E. Concord Street, K603
Boston, MA 02118
Richard Evans III, M.D., M.P.H.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Allergy
Children's Memorial Hospital
990 W. Fullerton
Chicago, IL 60614
Meyer Kattan, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029
James W. Stout, M.D., M.P.H.
Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
2101 E. Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98112
Wayne Morgan, M.D.
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
1501 N. Campbell Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85724
Rebecca Gruchalla, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Allergy and Immunology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75235-8859
(Data Coordinating Center)
Herman E. Mitchell, Ph.D.
121 S. Estes Drive, Suite 100
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
910/932-6500 ext. 223