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Dust mites are one of the most common asthma triggers.
During that time, about 29 percent of the kids with mite-proof covers had a severe flare-up that led to a hospital visit, compared to about 42 percent of the other kids.
Children with protective bedding also went much longer before having a flare-up that led to an emergency room visit or hospital stay for treatment with systemic corticosteroids.
But they did not have a significantly lower risk of flare-ups that were treated outside the hospital with only an oral corticosteroid. The researchers said the bedcovers may not prevent flare-ups but instead make them less severe.
The study, published online March 10 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, was funded by The JP Moulton Charitable Foundation.
"Asthma exacerbations are among the most common reasons for hospitalizing children living in the developed world. It's a frightening experience for children and their parents, and a single exacerbation can increase the annual cost of treating asthma by three-fold," study lead author Dr. Clare Murray said in a journal news release.
She is a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Manchester and the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
The mite-proof bed covers cost about $200.
Murray said they may help reduce flare-ups that lead to ER visits or hospitalization, especially for younger children who are allergic only to dust mites.
-- Robert Preidt
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