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Respir Med. 2004 May;98(5):398-403.

National prevalence of respiratory allergic disorders.

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1
Lungemedicinsk Afdeling, Arhus Kommunehospital, Arhus C 8000, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many epidemiological studies have assessed the prevalence of respiratory allergic disorders in confined geographical locations. However, no study has yet established nationally prevalence data in a uniform manner representing whole countries and, thus, enabling cross-national comparisons.

METHODS:

In 10 European countries, screening of random, representative samples of telephone numbers identified the target population aged 16-60. The inclusion criteria were a positive reporting of respiratory allergy to named allergens and, concomitantly, an unassisted description of appropriate symptoms. To obtain a truly representative, national prevalence of each country, the data were weighted against the actual sex and age composition.

RESULTS:

31,065 screening interviews were performed. The nationally balanced prevalence varied significantly among the 10 countries (P<0.001) from 11.7% in Spain to 33.6% in Italy. The overall weighted prevalence for Europe was 24.4%. Comparing males and females, overall, the odds-ratio was 0.874 (P<0.001). For age intervals of 16-29, 30-49, and 50-60 years, the odds-ratios for males were 1.104 (P<0.088), 0.827 (P<0.001), and 0.658 (P<0.001), respectively. The prevalence correlated inversely with age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Respiratory allergic disorders constitute a huge health problem in Europe, and the impact may be increasing as the prevalence is highest among young people.

PMID:
15139568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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