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N Z Med J. 2001 Mar 23;114(1128):114-20.

The burden of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema in children and adolescents in six New Zealand centres: ISAAC Phase One.

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  • 1Division of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.



To describe the burden of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema in children in six New Zealand centres.


The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase One was undertaken in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch during 1992-1993. In each centre, approximately 3,000 six to seven year old children and 3,000 thirteen to fourteen year old adolescents were studied, a total of 37,592 participants. Both age groups answered written questionnaires and the adolescents a video questionnaire about asthma symptoms.


The prevalences of symptoms were high, for asthma 25% and 30%, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis 10% and 19%, and atopic eczema 15% and 13% in each age group respectively. More than 40% of participants had symptoms in the last year of at least one condition, most commonly asthma. There were no significant differences among regions, except for six to seven year olds in Nelson who had significantly lower prevalences of some symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.


Asthma and allergies are common in New Zealand, with resultant morbidity and cost. However, there is little regional variation with the exception of lower rates in Nelson children. Explanations for these findings will be the subject of further studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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