Atopic diseases among schoolchildren in Nikel, Russia, an Arctic area with heavy air pollution.Acta Derm Venereol 2001 Jun-Jul; 81(3):198-201AD
The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence rate of atopic diseases among schoolchildren living in the heavily polluted Arctic town of Nikel, Russia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the parents of 1,800 children aged 8-17 years, 1,684 of whom (93.6%) completed and returned the questionnaire. Atopic diseases were reported in 508 (30.2%) of the children and prevalence was similar for both sexes. Atopic dermatitis occurred most frequently (15.5%), followed by allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (13.9%) and asthma (3.9%). The most pronounced influence on atopic diseases in children was having parents with asthma. Indoor dampness was a significant risk factor eliciting atopic diseases, whereas furred pets, passive smoking and carpets did not influence the prevalence of allergy. We conclude that although atopic diseases are a common health problem in Nikel, they are less prevalent than has been reported in recent studies of Northern European countries. Air pollution does not seem to be a major risk factor for the development of atopic diseases.