Reports of previous studies done without following the international guidelines in different cities of Mexico showed a decrease in asthma prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms in children and teenagers living in north Mexico City and compare them with those of other Latin American cities and world regions. The cross-sectional survey followed the protocol of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood IIIb phase survey. The study population included children 6–7 years old and teenagers 13–14 years old from randomly selected primary and secondary schools. There were 1629 boys and 1582 girls in the group of 6- to 7-year-old children and 2039 boys and 1860 girls in the 13- to 14-year-old group. "Wheezing or whistling in the chest at any time in the past" was present in 19.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.9, 20.6) of the children and in 17.0% (95% CI, 15.8, 18.1) of the teenagers; "wheezing or whistling in the chest in the last 12 months" was reported in 6.8% (95% CI, 5.9, 7.6) of the children and 9.9% (95% CI, 9.0, 10.8) of the teenagers; "asthma ever" was claimed in 4.5% (95% CI, 3.8, 5.2) of the children and 8.0% (95% CI, 7.1, 8.8) of the teenagers. These prevalences were low compared with other ISAAC Latin American surveys and intermediate in comparison with worldwide regional prevalences reported by ISAAC surveys. The prevalence of asthma is low in Mexico City in comparison with other surveyed locations, but the number of patients with asthma makes it an important issue for Mexican public health programs.
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