SourceAsian Pac J Allergy Immunol 2000 Mar; 18(1)
While many studies of the prevalence of wheeze have been conducted in schoolchildren, there have been few in pre-school children. Most children with asthma develop symptoms before the age of 5 years and many pre-school wheezers continue to wheeze in the early school years. Among the latter, those children who continue to wheeze at school age have poorer lung function than those who don't. It is thus appropriate to enquire more fully about wheeze in this age-group where its incidence is high and its relation with asthma less well defined. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalences of wheeze, night cough and doctor diagnosed asthma in pre-school children. A cross-sectional study was conducted in five primary health clinics in the district of Kota Bharu from April to October 1998. Nurses from these clinics distributed Bahasa Malaysia questionnaires containing questions on asthma symptoms to preschool children aged 1-5 years during their home visits. The respondents were parent(s) or carer(s) of the child. The response rate was 100% and a total of 2,878 responses were analysed. The prevalence of symptoms and doctor diagnosed asthma were as follows: ever wheezed 9.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 8.3-10.4%); current wheeze 6.2% (95% CI 5.2 to 7.0%); night cough 10.2% (95% CI 9.1 to 11.4%); and doctor diagnosed asthma 7.1% (95% CI 6.2 to 8.0%). There were no significant differences in prevalence between males and females, or among age groups. The prevalence of night cough in children with no history of wheeze was 6.9%. The cumulative and current prevalences of wheeze were similar to, and those of night cough and doctor-diagnosed asthma significantly lower than, those reported for Kelantan schoolchildren. These findings provide a baseline for assessing future symptoms trends, and perhaps also the validity of diagnosing asthma in this age group.
MeshAsthmaChild, PreschoolCoughCross-Sectional StudiesFemaleHumansInfantMalaysiaMaleQuestionnairesRespiratory Sounds
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't