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Eur Respir J. 2000 Sep;16(3):420-6.

Comparison of asthma prevalence in the ISAAC and the ECRHS. ISAAC Steering Committee and the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.

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  • 1Wellington Asthma Research Group, Wellington School of Medicine, New Zealand.

Abstract

International and regional prevalence comparisons are required to test and generate hypotheses regarding the causes of increasing asthma prevalence in various age groups worldwide. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) is the first such study in children and the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) is the first such study in adults. Therefore, a comparison of the findings of these two surveys was conducted, for the 17 countries in which both surveys were undertaken. There was a strong correlation between the ISAAC and ECRHS prevalence data, with 64% of the variation at the country level, and 74% of the variation at the centre level, in the prevalence of "wheeze in the last 12 months" in the ECRHS phase I data being explained by the variation in the ISAAC phase I data. There was also generally good agreement in the international patterns observed in the two surveys for self-reported asthma (74% of country level and 36% of centre level variation explained), self-reported asthma before age 14 yrs (64 and 26%), hay fever (61 and 73%) and eczema (41 and 50%). Thus although there were differences in the absolute levels of prevalence observed in the two surveys, there is good overall agreement between the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood and European Community Respiratory Health Survey study findings with regard to international prevalence patterns. These findings, therefore, add support to the validity of the two studies, which provide a new picture of global patterns of asthma prevalence from child- to adulthood, and identify some of the key phenomena which future research must address.

PMID:
11028654
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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