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Health Bull (Edinb). 2000 Nov;58(6):489-96.

Respiratory morbidity in primary care. A population based study, using practices from the Scottish Continuous Morbidity Recording Research Database.

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Department of General Practice & Primary Care, Department of Health, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill Health Centre, Westburn Road, Aberdeen.



To elucidate the patterns and period prevalences of respiratory disease with special reference to asthma (including wheezing) in view of its increasing reported prevalence.


Observational study based on prospectively entered data.


Fifty five Continuous Morbidity Recording (CMR) practices with 290,000 patients located throughout Scotland.


Respiratory problems accounted for a large proportion (17%) of total general practice workload. Upper respiratory tract infections were the commonest presentation in pre-school children, followed by asthma but with an ever increasing proportion of consultations for bronchitis and lower respiratory tract infections with advancing adult age. There was no significant correlation between deprivation and the incidence of asthma.


Observed rates and patterns of disease for CMR practices, were similar to previously reported studies. The large number of presentations by patients in early childhood with minor respiratory illnesses and in particular upper respiratory tract infections are likely to reflect a heightened level of parental anxiety where interpretation of clinical signs and separation of simple and significant illness can be difficult. CMR has also been shown to be of use in helping to investigate links between deprivation and disease incidence or severity. Potential uses for CMR include the study of whole population morbidity and utilisation of primary care services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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