Risk factors for asthma among primary school children in Baghdad, Iraq.Saudi Med J. 2005 Mar; 26(3):460-6.SM
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases of children. To fill the gap in data concerning this disease in Iraq, we investigated the socio-demographic and other risk factors related to asthma occurrence among primary school children.
A case control study was conducted in Baghdad, Iraq among primary school children aged 6-12 years, for the period between October 2000 and June 2002. Six hundred and forty-four children with asthma were investigated with a control group of 1618 children without asthma. Well-constructed standardized modified questionnaires of International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood were completed by the parents of the chosen children.
From the studied risk factors, the following were found as significant risk factors for asthma development: crowding rate of > or = 5 (odds ratio [OR]=1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.1 - 2.4), lower educational level of parents, prematurity (OR=1.61, 95% CI=1.003-2.59), low birth weight (OR=2.41, 95% CI=1.87-3.09), family history of asthma whether father (OR=3.86, 95% CI=2.54-5.87), or mother (OR=8.27, 95% CI=5.21-13.15) or sibling (OR=4.33, 95% CI=3.24-5.8) and environmental exposure to tobacco smoking during pregnancy or currently from both parents. On the contrary, our study failed to detect significant association for the following factors: gender, residency, type of birth, breast feeding and duration.
Crowding, low parental education, prematurity, low birth weight, family history of asthma and smoking are significant risk factors for asthma development among our primary school children. Efforts must be concentrated for hygienic environment, good antenatal care and quitting smoking habits in order to overcome this health problem.