Skip Navigation Links
ICD Code: 493. Asthma



ICD Code: 493. Article Review
Title: McCarthy M; "Researchers Call for More Research Into Asthma in Latin America." The Lancet; V.361; 5/24/03; p1797
      LATIN AMERICA: Although asthma rates are low in many Latin American countries, rates in Brazil, Peru, and Costa Rica rival those found in developed nations with the highest prevalence, such as the UK, U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Although the prevalence rates might be similar to the rates seen in high-prevalence developed nations, the type and pattern of asthma tend to be different. For example, whereas asthma in developed countries tends to be associated with allergies, asthma in Latin American communities is not.
      COSTA RICA VS NICARAGUA: The Costa Rican per capita income is greater than $4000, and life expectancy is 77.7 years. Costa Rica's northern neighbor, however, is much poorer and provides much less in the way of social and health services to its population. The per capita income in Nicaragua is $486, and life expectancy is 68.7 years. Asthma prevalence among schoolchildren in Costa Rica is quite high: 26% of children have a doctor's diagnosis of asthma and 33% report having had wheezing in the last 12 months. The rates in Nicaragua are about half those in Costa Rica, with about 16% having a doctor's diagnosis of asthma and 15.5% reporting wheezing in the last 12 months. Why asthma prevalence rates differ so much is not known.
      Costa Rica is also the site of an effort to unravel the genetics of asthma in Latino populations. The Central Valley region was settled in the mid-to-late 1500s by Spanish colonists. Since then there has been little mixing or immigration. As a result, the researchers believe they might be able to identify asthma genes introduced by a few of the original "founders."

Search Criteria: Text - The Lancet; V.361; 5/24/03; p1797