Asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in 13-14-year-old schoolchildren across Lebanon.J Med Liban. 2006 Oct-Dec; 54(4):181-90.JM
Childhood asthma is one of the most important diseases of childhood. There is no known prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in Lebanon. This study was conducted with a primary objective of finding the prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in Lebanese children.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
It is a descriptive cross-sectional study on children in Lebanese public and private schools. A sample of 22 schools participated in the study, where standardized ISAAC written core questionnaires were distributed. 13-14-year-old students filled in the questionnaires in class.
1613 individuals were analyzed. The prevalence of diagnosed asthma (5.6%) is the lowest in Lebanon compared to the eastern Mediterranean countries. Prevalence of ever wheezing (21.4%), last 12 months wheezing (19.9%), wheezing on effort (12.7%), night cough (22.8%), allergic rhinitis (32.7%) and eczema (11.5%) is on the medium prevalence trend noted all over the world, referring to ISAAC study. It also showed marked variations and differences across the governates in Lebanon, the lowest prevalence of diagnosed asthma (1.9%) but the highest prevalence of asthma symptoms like ever wheezing being in the Bekaa governate (26.8%).
Undiagnosed asthma, rhinitis and eczema have medium prevalence in Lebanon. Differences exist between Lebanese governates. Further studies are needed to understand the environmental, climate and socioeconomic causes of these discrepancies.