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Clin Allergy. 1985 Sep;15(5):429-38.

Prevalence and features of asthma in a sample survey of urban Goroka, Papua New Guinea.


This study found a prevalence of asthma of 2.5% in adults and 0.2% in children in Goroka, the major town and administrative centre of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. The disease features are similar to those found in previous studies in Papua New Guinea: late age of onset and virtual absence of childhood cases; strong association with allergy to house dust mite and high mite-specific IgE levels; and considerable impairment of resting lung function. However, the prevalence is much lower than that recently found in the nearby rural South Fore linguistic group of the Okapa District. Moreover, it was noted that a preponderance of the urban cases in the present study were originally from Okapa. The implication is that particular local aetiological factors may be responsible for the documented rise in prevalence in the South Fore (Okapa) people, rather than the process of 'Westernization' per se. This creates a valuable opportunity to learn more about the pathogenesis of asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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