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Eur Respir J. 2000 Apr;15(4):725-9.

Prevalence of asthma in 13-14 yr-old schoolchildren across Israel.

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Israel Center for Disease Control, Gertner Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.


There is evidence that the incidence and severity of asthma are increasing worldwide, but there are limited data on asthma in Israel. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and severity of asthma and asthma symptoms in 13-14 yr-old schoolchildren in Israel. The self-completed questionnaire used was a modified version of that developed by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), and was administered to a national sample of 12,918 children. The prevalence of asthma ever, wheezing ever and wheezing in the last 12 months were 13.7, 23.8 and 17.9% respectively. Significantly higher rates of a history of asthma and asthma symptoms were observed in Jews compared with Arabs. Although asthma ever was more prevalent in males than in females, asthma symptoms were significantly more common in females. The type of area of residence had no effect on the prevalence of wheezing. The ethnic differences in the prevalence of asthma persisted after controlling for sex, district of residence and level of urbanization. The prevalence of both asthma and asthma symptoms in Israel are slightly above the mean reported from 10 other countries in Europe and the Far-East.

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