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ICD Code: 493. Asthma

ICD Code: 493. Article Review
Title: Kaur B et al; "Prevalence of Asthma Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment in 12-14 Year Old Children Across Great Britain (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, ISAAC UK)." BMJ; V.316; 1/10/98; p118
      STUDY DESIGN: This 1995 UK study reports variations in the prevalence of self-reported symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of asthma in children in England, Wales and Scotland. Pupils of 93 large mixed secondary schools (ages 12 to 14 years) self-completed 27,507 questionnaires (85.9% response rate).
      PREVALENCE: The prevalence of selected clinical variables was reported as follows: asthma symptoms, 33.3% (for wheezing in the past twelve months); ever having had a diagnosis of asthma, 20.9%; current use of an inhaler, 15.8%. These levels were higher than in previous studies in younger children or broader age groups based on parental reports. The levels were also slightly higher than those found in the 1991 ISAAC pilot study in children aged 13 to 14 in west Sussex where the prevalence of wheezing in the previous twelve months was 29%. The geographical variation of most symptoms and diagnosis of asthma varied by a factor of 1.3 or less across Great Britain.
      DISCUSSION: The lack of substantial geographical variation in prevalence of asthma symptoms in this age group suggests that the causes of asthma are already widely distributed in Great Britain. This makes it difficult to investigate causes by exploiting geographical variation, as epidemiological studies of disease etiology require a distribution of exposures in the study base that lead to a varying distribution of disease. Furthermore, it suggests that factors which do vary geographically in Great Britain (such as climate, diet and outdoor environment) are not the main determinants of prevalence.

Search Criteria: Text - BMJ; V.316; 1/10/98; p118