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ICD Code: 493. Asthma

ICD Code: 493. Article Review
Title: Li F et al; "Prevalence and Risk Factors of Childhood Allergic Diseases in Eight Metropolitan Cities in China: A Multicenter Study." BMC Public Health; V.11; 2011; p437     DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-437
      DISEASE BURDEN: Approximately 20% of the world population suffers from allergic diseases that cause a substantial health care burden. In 1990 and 2000, two national surveys were conducted in China showing that the prevalence of asthma among children 0-14 years old was 1% and 1.97%, respectively, suggesting an increasing trend of asthma. These studies implied that socio-environmental changes might directly or indirectly affect the prevalence rates of asthma and allergies. However, few data are available on the national pattern of prevalence and associated risk factors of childhood allergies in China.
      STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was undertaken among children aged 6-13 years old in 8 Chinese cities during November and December 2005, using a cluster-stratified sampling method. Of 23,791 children from 6 grades of the chosen schools, 22,018 (response rate 92.5%) participated in the survey and returned completed questionnaires. The questions regarding asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were: "Has the child had asthma in the past 12 months?" (yes or no), "Has the child had allergic rhinitis in the past 12 months?" (yes or no) and "Has the child had eczema in the past 12 months?" (yes or no).
      SUBJECT CHARACTERISTICS: The mean age of the sample was 9.18 years, with 10,366 male students (49.6%) and 10,548 female students (50.4%). Of the 22,018 children, the vast majority (20,719, or 94.1%) came from the Han ethnic group, with the other children (1299, or 5.9%) from other ethnic minorities.
      PREVALENCE (CHINA): The average prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema across eight cities was 3.3%, 9.8% and 5.5%, respectively. There were statistically significant differences in the prevalences of asthma and allergic rhinitis among the 8 cities. There was no statistically significant difference in the geographic pattern of eczema.
      DISCUSSION: The present study reveals a geographic variation in the prevalences of allergic diseases across different regions of China. In particular, regional variations in the prevalence of asthma were even wider than those in the United States. In general, the prevalence rates of allergic diseases were higher in more developed areas than poor areas. Factors related to lifestyle, mental health and socio-economic status were found to be associated with the prevalence of childhood allergies.

Search Criteria: Text - BMC Public Health; V.11; 2011; p437