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Ir Med J. 2007 Jun;100(6):491-3.

Prevalence of asthma in Galway school children 2004.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, National University of Ireland, Clinical Science Institute, Galway.


We aimed to ascertain the prevalence of asthma amongst Galway schoolchildren aged 9-10, and to compare the results to a similar study carried out in 1992. A questionnaire was distributed to parents of all children attending 4th class in Galway city schools. 652 of 750(87%) questionnaires were returned. Prevalence of "wheeze ever" was 27.6%, and "current wheeze" 16.3%. The prevalence of asthma was 18.5%. Of those with asthma there was a 2 to 1 male preponderance, 80% had mild asthma, 14% moderate, and 6% severe asthma. 80% were taking anti-asthma therapy, with 48% taking regular inhaled steroids. 84% had a diagnosis of asthma made by a doctor. Comparison with the study of 1992 shows little change in the prevalence of current wheeze, or asthma. There has however been a significant decline in the severity of asthma, and an increase in the use of prophylactic anti-asthma medication. Asthma prevalence appears to be stable in the age group studied. There is a much greater willingness to diagnose, and treat asthma in the community. The severity of asthma, as measured by attack frequency, has declined.

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