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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

International Programs: Canada (cont’d)Back to Index

A Randomized Controlled Study on the Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Intervention Program in the Primary Prevention of Asthma in High-Risk Infants

University of British Columbia and University of Manitoba Winnipeg

V6T 1Z4 Canada

Helen Dimich-Ward, MD

(604) 875-4813         

Hward@interchange.ubc.ca

A Randomized Controlled Study on the Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Intervention Program in the Primary Prevention of Asthma in High-Risk Infants was a prospective, prenatally randomized, controlled study with follow-up through the age of one year. The study was conducted by the Universities of British Columbia and Manitoba Winnipeg.

The objective was too assess the effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention program in the primary prevention of asthma in high-risk infants (in this study, infants are defined as persons from birth to the age of one year).  The study used University hospital-based settings at two Canadian centers: Vancouver, British Columbia, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. A total of 545 high-risk infants (at least one first-degree relative with asthma or two first-degree relatives with other IgE-mediated allergic diseases) identified before birth participated.

Interventions included avoidance of house dust mite and pet allergens and environmental tobacco smoke, encouragement of breastfeeding, and supplementation with a partially hydrolyzed formula. Main Outcome Measures were probable or possible asthma, rhinitis without apparent colds, and a prick skin test result positive for common inhalant allergens.

Thirty-eight (15.1%) of the 251 infants available for assessment in the intervention group and 49 (20.2%) of the 242 infants available for assessment in the control group fulfilled the criteria for possible or probable asthma.  Also, 16.7% of the infants in the intervention group and 27.3% of the infants in the control group developed rhinitis without colds. The incidence of positive skin test results to 1 or more inhalant allergens was similar in both groups (4.4% in the intervention group and 4.6% in the control group).

The multifaceted intervention program resulted in a modest but significant reduction in the risk of possible or probable asthma and rhinitis without apparent colds at the age of 12 months in high-risk infants.

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