Changing prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases among Kuwaiti children. An ISAAC Study (Phase III).Med Princ Pract. 2008; 17(4):284-9.MP
To estimate the prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in 13- and 14-year-old schoolchildren and to compare it with previous phase I data.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
A survey of 2,922 third and fourth grade students from randomly selected intermediate level schools across Kuwait was conducted. Supervised, self-administered, written and video questionnaires of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) was used.
Of the 2,922 students, 2,882 (96.3%) completed the questionnaires. The prevalence (95% CI) in the written questionnaire for wheeze ever, current wheeze (within the last 12 months) and physician diagnosis of asthma were 13.4, 7.6 and 15.6%, respectively. The prevalence (95% CI) for symptoms of allergic rhinitis (AR) ever, current symptoms of AR, and diagnosis of AR was 41.4, 27.6 and 22.2%, respectively. The prevalence (95% CI) for itchy rash ever, current itchy rash, and diagnosis of eczema was 10.6, 8.3 and 12.8%, respectively. Comparing to ISAAC phase I data (1995-1996), the prevalence of current wheeze has decreased from 16.1 to 7.6% (p < 0.001). Current symptoms of AR decreased from 30.7 to 27.6 (p = 0.008) and current itchy rash decreased from 17.5 to 10.6% (p < 0.001). However, physician diagnoses of asthma and eczema remained the same as in the previous study, but physician diagnosis of AR increased from 17.1 to 22.2% (p < 0.001).
The findings show that there is a decrease in the self-reported symptoms of allergic diseases over a 5-year period while physician diagnoses of these diseases remained the same over the same period.