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Prevalence trends of rhinoconjunctivitis, eczema, and atopic asthma in Greek schoolchildren: four surveys during 1991-2008.

Abstract

After a continuous increase of asthma, hay fever, and eczema during 1991-2003 among schoolchildren in Patras, Greece, the prevalence of current wheeze/asthma (diagnosed wheezing and/or asthma in the past 2 years) has reached a plateau (6.9%) during the period 2004-2008. Using methodology identical to the three previously conducted cross-sectional, parental questionnaire surveys (1991, n = 2417; 1998, n = 3076; 2003, n = 2725) we examined further trends in the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in the same urban environment among third and fourth grade schoolchildren (8-9 years old) in 2008 (n = 2688). In the four surveys, respective prevalence rates of rhinoconjunctivitis were 2.1, 3.4, 4.6, and 5.1% (absolute prevalence increase: 1998 versus 1991, 61.9%; 2003 versus 1998, 35.5%; 2008 versus 2003, 10.9%) and those of eczema were 4.5, 6.3, 9.5, and 10.8% (absolute prevalence increase: 1998 versus 1991, 40.0%; 2003 versus 1998, 50.8%; 2008 versus 2003, 13.7%; sex-adjusted p for trend, <0.001). Among current wheezer/asthmatic patients there was an increase in lifetime rhinoconjunctivitis (sex-adjusted p for trend, <0.001) and lifetime eczema (sex-adjusted p for tend, <0.001) over the period 1991-2008. The proportion of atopic wheeze/asthma (current asthma with lifetime rhinoconjunctivitis and/or eczema) increased further during 2003-2008 (p < 0.05; p for trend during 1991-2008, <0.001). In conclusion, there is a continuous increase in the prevalence of allergic manifestations-rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema-among preadolescent children in Patras, Greece, during the period 1991-2008. After a steep rise during 1991-2003, the frequency of atopic wheeze/asthma continued to increase at a decelerating rate during 2003-2008, while wheeze/asthma prevalence remained unchanged during the same 5-year period.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Anthracopoulos MB, Fouzas S, Pandiora A, Panagiotopoulou E, Liolios E, Priftis KN

    Source

    MeSH

    Asthma
    Child
    Conjunctivitis
    Eczema
    Female
    Greece
    Humans
    Male
    Prevalence
    Questionnaires
    Rhinitis
    Risk Assessment
    Sex Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22221431