Purpose of the Study. Asthma and allergy were reported by many studies to be on the rise in the early 1990s. Has this trend continued?
Study Population. A total of 1016 schoolchildren age 8 to 11 years in Wagga Wagga, Australia, studied in 1997 compared with 850 schoolchildren of the same ages studied in the same location in 1992.
Methods. A parental questionnaire was used to estimate asthma prevalence. Key questions asked to parents included “Has your child wheezed in the last 12 months?” and “Has your child ever been diagnosed as having asthma by a doctor or at a hospital?” Prick skin tests to common aeroallergens were also performed. A child was considered atopic if they had 1 or more positive skin tests.
Results. See Table below:
Conclusion. Asthma and atopy appear to still be on the rise.
Reviewer’s Comments. Because the increase in these diseases over recent rears appears to be continuing, we certainly require additional investigation of the “hygiene hypothesis” and other theories as to the cause of this increase.
- Downs SH, Marks GB, Sporik R, Belosouva EG, Car NG, Peat JK. Arch Dis Child.2001;84 :20– 23
- Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Pediatrics