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Free Content Prevalence of asthma and associated factors among schoolchildren in rural South India

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OBJECTIVES: 1) To estimate the prevalence of asthma among secondary school children in a rural area in Karnataka, South India, and 2) to identify risk factors associated with asthma among asthma patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was undertaken among 588 secondary school children in a rural area in South India. A locally adapted version of the questionnaire used in an asthma prevalence study in Iowa, USA, was administered.

RESULTS: The prevalence of asthma in the study group was 4.9%. In a multivariate model, significant association was found with sex (male predominance) and exposure to dust in the house. Place of residence, farm dwelling, household pets (cats or dogs), smokers in the family, type of cooking fuel used and the use of firewood without chimneys did not show any significant association.

CONCLUSION: In the present study, the prevalence of questionnaire-diagnosed asthma in the study group was 4.9%. Of the total number of schoolchildren with asthma, 17 (58.6%) were detected who had not been diagnosed previously. One third of the children with asthma had visited emergency departments in the last 12 months, indicative of poor asthma control. Another third suffered limitation of activity at home and or at school, which could indicate poor quality of life.
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Keywords: asthma; prevalence; rural schoolchildren; wheezing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Community Medicine, KVG Medical College and Hospital, Sullia, India

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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