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Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2009 May-Jun;37(3):135-42. doi: 10.1016/S0301-0546(09)71725-2. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

Risk factors and prevalence of asthma in schoolchildren in Castellon (Spain): a cross-sectional study.

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Sección de Epidemiología, Centro Salud Pública, Castellón, Spain.



Research on potential risk factors of asthma can enhance our understanding of geographic differences and inform decisions on preventive strategies.


In 2002, a cross-sectional population-based study was carried out in the area of Castellon (Spain), following the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase III methodology. Asthma symptoms and related risk factor questionnaires were completed by parents of 6-7 year-old schoolchildren. Logistic regression was used in the analysis.


Participation rate was 88 % (4492 of 4872 schoolchildren). Prevalence of wheeze in the past year, asthma ever, and physician-diagnosed asthma were 8 %, 7 % and 6 %, respectively. Risk factors independently associated with all three asthma case definitions were history of bronchitis or pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, family members with atopic disease, and residing in an industrialised area. Risk factors for asthma ever and physician-diagnosed asthma were male sex, atopic eczema and presence of a dog at home; exclusive breast-feeding and the presence of another animal (not a dog or cat) were protective factors. Maternal age was inversely related to physician-diagnosed asthma. Residence in an area of heavy truck traffic and the father smoking at home were associated with asthma ever. Risk factors for wheeze in the past year were low social class, history of sinusitis and the father smoking at home.


Environmental factors are related to the presence of asthma. Preventive measures should be directed to improving air pollution, promoting breast-feeding and reducing smoking in the home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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