Prevalence of asthma in Jordan: Comparison between Bedouins and urban schoolchildren using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood phase III protocol
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the prevalence of asthma and its symptoms in children aged 6‐7 years and 13‐14 years in an urban (Amman city) area and among Bedouins in northern Jordan. The number of students included in both studied groups was 9108. This study is part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), phase III. The response rate was 84% for urban schoolchildren compared with 68% among Bedouin schoolchildren. There was no statistical significance in prevalence of asthma diagnosed by a physician between the Amman city group and Bedouins (8.8% versus 9.5%). Wheeze induced by exercise and night cough was significantly common in schoolchildren aged 13‐14 years compared with primary schoolchildren (18.5 and 25.3% versus 11.1 and 22.6%; p < 0.001). Wheezing ever and sleep disturbances were significantly more common in male subjects (27.5%, p < 0.01, and 12.2%, p < 0.001, respectively). Primary schoolchildren aged 6‐7 years had significant wheezing ever (27.2%) compared with older children (25.1%; p < 0.05). Bedouin children had significant exercise-induced wheeze (16.4%) compared with children in Amman city (13.1%, p < 0.001), but the latter had significant prevalence of night cough (25%) compared with the Bedouin group (22.6%; p < 0.01). In conclusion, this study shows that asthma is moderately common in Jordan. There was no difference in prevalence of asthma diagnosed by a physician between an urbanized region and Bedouins having low socioeconomic status. Asthma was common in male children, which is similar to other reports elsewhere. There is a twofold increase in the prevalence of asthma in Jordan in the last 10 years.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
Publication date: March 1, 2009
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