Prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in primary school children in Edirne, Turkey, two surveys 10 years apart


PEDIATRIC ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY, vol.21, no.4, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


To assess change in prevalence and risk factors of asthma and allergic diseases among primary school children in rural and urban parts of Edirne, Turkey, a series of cross-sectional studies were conducted in 1994 and 2004. A questionnaire was administered to the parents of primary school children aged 7-12, in urban and rural parts of Edirne, Turkey (5412 in 1994 and 5735 in 2004). Response rates in 1994 and 2004 were 84% and 82.5%, respectively. There were significant differences between the age distribution, urban habitation (1994: 70.1%, 2004: 75.8%, p < 0.001), passive smoking (1994: 74.7%, 2004: 60.0%, p < 0.001), and family atopy (1994: 12.7%, 2004: 18.2%, p < 0.001) between the two surveys. Current prevalence of asthma and wheeze increased in the 2004 when compared to 1994 in both rural and urban regions (current asthma for rural and urban regions, 5.2% and 5.8% in 1994; 8.6% and 12.1% in 2004, respectively). Female-to-male ratio of current asthma increased from 0.7 in 1994 to 0.9 in 2004. Comparison of the risk factors in the two surveys suggested urban habitation and factors other than family atopy, passive smoking and no breast feeding as possible contributors for the increasing asthma and wheeze. Prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases increased among school children in Edirne, Turkey from 1994 to 2004. Life style changes and urbanization could be related to this increasing trend.