Beating Asthma

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Small changes at home, such as using allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers and vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, can greatly reduce a child's asthma symptoms, according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Working in low-income, inner-city homes where children suffered from asthma triggered by indoor allergens — dust mites, cockroaches, pets, tobacco smoke or mold — researchers taught families how to reduce the level of those pollutants. A year later, children in those homes reported three fewer weeks of asthma symptoms than did kids in untreated homes.