Is there an increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases among schoolchildren from the Aegean region of Turkey?
Abstract:The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic skin disorders (urticaria and atopic dermatitis) was investigated between the years 1993 and 1994 in the Aegean region of Turkey and was found to be 3.8, 4.6, 12.6, and 19.4%, respectively (Tanaç R, Kurugöl Z, Demir E, et al., Çocuk Sağlığıve Hast Derg 39:77–85, 1996). The aim of the present study was to determine whether there is a change in the prevalence of allergic diseases in the Aegean region in the last 8 years, based on the comparison of the results using the same method applied in the study mentioned above. Three thousand three hundred seventy children (48.6% male participants and 51.4% female participants) between the ages of 5 and 18 years (mean age, 11.55 ± 3.34 years) were enrolled in the study. The participants were randomly chosen among children attending primary schools in the cities of the Aegean region. The children completed a questionnaire; and physical examinations, serum-specific immunoglobulin E antibody levels, and peak expiratory flow measurements were done for each of them. Of the children, 21.2% were found to have at least one attack of wheezing whereas the prevalence of asthma was 6.4%. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic skin disorders (urticaria and atopic dermatitis) were found to be 13.6, 13.2, and 23.7%, respectively. The increase of prevalence for asthma was 2.6%, for allergic rhinitis was 9%, and for allergic conjunctivitis was 0.6%. These data show that the prevalence of allergic diseases, especially respiratory allergy, has increased among schoolchildren from the Aegean region of Turkey.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2005
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