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1.  Feather bedding and childhood asthma associated with house dust mite sensitisation: a randomised controlled trial 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2011;96(6):541-547.
Introduction
Observational studies report inverse associations between the use of feather upper bedding (pillow and/or quilt) and asthma symptoms but there is no randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence assessing the role of feather upper bedding as a secondary prevention measure.
Objective
To determine whether, among children not using feather upper bedding, a new feather pillow and feather quilt reduces asthma severity among house dust mite (HDM) sensitised children with asthma over a 1-year period compared with standard dust mite avoidance advice, and giving children a new mite-occlusive mattress cover.
Design
RCT.
Setting
The Calvary Hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales.
Patients
197 children with HDM sensitisation and moderate to severe asthma.
Intervention
New upper bedding duck feather pillow and quilt and a mite-occlusive mattress cover (feather) versus standard care and a mite-occlusive mattress cover (standard).
Main outcome measures
The proportion of children reporting four or more episodes of wheeze in the past year; an episode of speech-limiting wheeze; or one or more episodes of sleep disturbance caused by wheezing; and spirometry with challenge testing. Statistical analysis included multiple logistic and linear regression.
Results
No differences between groups were found for primary end points – frequent wheeze (OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.83 to 2.76, p=0.17), speech-limiting wheeze (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.32 to 1.48, p=0.35), sleep disturbed because of wheezing (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.13, p=0.61) or for any secondary end points. Secondary analyses indicated the intervention reduced the risk of sleep being disturbed because of wheezing and severe wheeze to a greater extent for children who slept supine.
Conclusion
No differences in respiratory symptoms or lung function were observed 1 year after children with moderate–severe asthma and HDM sensitisation were given a mite-occlusive mattress cover and then received either feather upper bedding (pillow and quilt) or standard bedding care.
doi:10.1136/adc.2010.189696
PMCID: PMC3093241  PMID: 21451166
2.  Pancreatic phenotype in infants with cystic fibrosis identified by mutation screening 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2007;92(10):842-846.
Objective
To determine the pancreatic phenotype of infants with cystic fibrosis (CF) diagnosed in the first week of life by a combined immunoreactive trypsin/mutation screening program.
Design
A prospective evaluation of pancreatic function in infants with CF at the time of neonatal diagnosis and up to the age of 12.
Setting
Two different centres (Verona, Italy and Westmead, Australia) to enable comparison of results between two regions where <60% or ⩾90% of patients, respectively, have at least one single ΔF508 a mutation.
Patients
315 children with CF including 149 at Verona and 166 at Westmead.
Interventions
Fat balance studies over 3–5 days and pancreatic stimulation tests with main outcome measures being faecal fat or pancreatic colipase secretion. Patients with malabsorption are pancreatic insufficient (PI) or with normal absorption and pancreatic sufficient (PS).
Results
34 infants (23%) at Verona and 46 (28%) at Westmead were PS at diagnosis. 15% of those with two class I, II or III “severe” mutations and 26/28 (93%) of those with class IV or V mutations were PS at this early age. Of the 80 infants with PS, 20 became PI before the age of 12. All 20 had two severe mutations.
Conclusion
Neonatal mutational screening programs for CF are less likely to detect PS patients with non‐ΔF508 mutations. Of PS patients who are detected, those with two severe class I, II or III mutations are at particularly high risk of becoming PI during early childhood.
doi:10.1136/adc.2006.107581
PMCID: PMC2083233  PMID: 17449517

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