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Prim Care Respir J. 2007 Feb;16(1):28-35.

Gender-specific presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in primary care.

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  • 1Department of Child Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZG, UK.

Erratum in

  • Prim Care Respir J. 2007 Apr;16(2):126.



To identify age- and gender-specific prevalence rates for physician-diagnosed asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR) and eczema across a whole lifespan.


Presentations of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were identified in individuals aged 0 to 65 who consulted their general practitioner at least once in 1998-99 from a population sample of 266,733 in Scotland, and in 1991-95 for asthma and allergic rhinitis in 6,836,063 person years at risk in England and Wales.


In both sexes asthma presentations peak at 4-6 years whilst eczema peaks in infancy. A second asthma peak occurs during adolescence, earlier in females, at a time when a female predominance for all three atopic diseases is established. Female predominance of eczema presentations are limited to the reproductive period of 15-49 years.


The patterns of presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema by age and gender suggest important gender-specific differences in disease predisposition and diagnosis.

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