Maternal history, sensitization to allergens, and current wheezing, rhinitis, and eczema among children in Costa Rica.Pediatr Pulmonol. 2002 Apr; 33(4):237-43.PP
Little is known about the factors associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema in Latin American countries. We investigated the relation between potential risk factors and current wheezing, allergic rhinitis, and eczema among 208 Costa Rican children aged 10-13 years participating in phase II of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). The geometric mean (+/- SD) serum total IgE level of children with current wheezing was significantly higher than that of children without current wheezing (533.8 +/- 5.2 vs. 144.7 +/- 6.0 IU/mL, P < 0.01). In a multivariate analysis, a maternal history of asthma, skin test reactivity (STR) to house dust mites, and STR to Alternaria were significantly associated with current wheezing. Children who had a maternal history of asthma had 2.4 times higher odds of current wheezing than those without maternal history of asthma (95% CI for OR = 1.1-5.3). Sensitization to either house dust mite or Alternaria was associated with 3.3 times increased odds of current wheezing (95% CI for OR for STR to dust mite = 1.6-6.7; 95% CI for OR for STR to Alternaria = 1.1-11.0). In a multivariate analysis, STR to house dust mite and STR to cat dander were significantly associated with allergic rhinitis, and a maternal history of eczema and STR to dog dander were associated with eczema in the child. The interaction between familial factors and lifestyle changes resulting from social reforms implemented 60 years ago may explain the high prevalence of atopic diseases in Costa Rica.