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Respir Med. 2012 Oct;106(10):1383-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Spirometry testing in a population of Italian children: age and gender differences.

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1
Laboratory for Mother and Child Health, Department of Public Health, Mario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute, via G. La Masa, 19, 20156 Milan, Italy. marina.bianchi@marionegri.it

Abstract

AIM:

To estimate how many asthmatic children underwent spirometry testing in one year in a large Italian region, and evaluate sociodemographic determinants.

METHODS:

Data were retrieved from the administrative databases that store all pharmacological and diagnostic prescriptions issued to individuals living in the Lombardy Region. The analysis involved prescriptions dispensed to all 6-17 year olds (1,047,241 subjects) during 2008. Youths were identified as asthmatics by a previously validated strategy. Number of subjects having ≥1 spirometry claims was calculated, and factors associated with the probability of undergoing spirometry were evaluated by multivariate analysis.

RESULTS:

A total of 40,528 (3.9%) asthmatic subjects were identified. Only 30% of them underwent ≥1 spirometry during 2008, with differences between local health units (range 22-45%) and degree of anti-asthmatic use (26-35%). Moreover, in a multivariate analysis, the chance of undergoing spirometry was greater in boys than in girls (OR=2.3).

CONCLUSIONS:

A low percentage of asthmatic children, especially girls (who are more at risk of developing severe disease in adulthood), underwent spirometry during 1-year period. This highlights a low compliance with guidelines in the monitoring of childhood asthma. Educational intervention is needed in order to encourage use of spirometry in primary care settings.

PMID:
22749757
DOI:
10.1016/j.rmed.2012.06.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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