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Time trends in asthma and wheeze in Swedish children 1996-2006: prevalence and risk factors by sex
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine. The OLIN Studies, Department of Medicine, Sunderby Central Hospital of Norrbotten, Luleå.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The OLIN Studies, Department of Medicine, Sunderby Central Hospital of Norrbotten, Luleå.
2010 (English)In: Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ISSN 0105-4538, E-ISSN 1398-9995, Vol. 65, no 1, 48-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Recent data suggest that the previously rising trend in childhood wheezing symptoms has plateaued in some regions. We sought to investigate sex-specific trends in wheeze, asthma, allergic conditions, allergic sensitization and risk factors for wheeze.

Methods: We compared two population-based cohorts of 7 to 8-year olds from the same Swedish towns in 1996 and 2006 using parental expanded ISAAC questionnaires. In 1996, 3430 (97%) and in 2006, 2585 (96%) questionnaires were completed. A subset was skin prick tested: in 1996, 2148 (88%) and in 2006, 1700 (90%) children participated.

Results: No significant change in the prevalence of current wheeze (P = 0.13), allergic rhinitis (P = 0.18) or eczema (P = 0.22) was found despite an increase in allergic sensitization (20.6-29.9%, P < 0.01). In boys, however, the prevalence of current wheeze (12.9-16.4%, P < 0.01), physician-diagnosed asthma (7.1-9.3%, P = 0.03) and asthma medication use increased. In girls the prevalence of current symptoms and conditions tended to decrease. The prevalence of all studied risk factors for wheeze and asthma increased in boys relative to girls from 1996 to 2006, thus increasing the boy-to-girl prevalence ratio in risk factors.

Conclusions: The previously reported increase in current wheezing indices has plateaued in Sweden. Due to increased diagnostic activity, physician diagnoses continue to increase. Time trends in wheezing symptoms differed between boys and girls, and current wheeze increased in boys. This was seemingly explained by the observed increases in the prevalence of risk factors for asthma in boys compared with girls. In contrast to the current symptoms of wheeze, rhinitis or eczema, the prevalence of allergic sensitization increased considerably.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 65, no 1, 48-55 p.
Keyword [en]
allergy, asthma, child, prevalence, risk factors
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30706DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02105.xISI: 000272630200007PubMedID: 19796226OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30706DiVA: diva2:286237
Available from: 2010-01-14 Created: 2010-01-14 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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