The prevalence of asthma and asthmalike complaints of schoolchildren was investigated in six German and three Austrian rural districts, using an identical panel of questions derived from already published, validated questionnaires for childhood. Data of 1.624 children at the age of 6-9 years were analysed. Average lifetime-prevalence of asthma (ISAAC item No. 6) was 4.5% (range 2.4-6.6%), of doctor-diagnosed hay-fever 5.7% (1.6-15.8%). The 12-months-prevalence of 'wheezing' (ISAAC item No. 2) was 9.0% (6.0-12.9%), of 'wheezing after exercise' (ISAAC item No. 7) 5.2% (2.4-8.4%); of 'dyspnoea' 5.1% (3.2-9.3%). The 12-months-prevalence of 'wheezing' was 58.3% among asthmatic (n=72) and 6.6% among non-asthmatic (n=1539) children. An adjustment for age, gender, passive smoking and parental atopy only led occasionally to differences between crude and adjusted prevalences. Employing multiple logistic regression, three districts (Ried-A, Freudenstadt, Donautal) showed a trend towards increased relative risks (Odds-ratios) for asthma and respiratory symptoms compared to the reference (Odenwald). An alternative way of representation ('weighted mean' of the prevalences) focused three districts (Odenwald, Villingen, Voralpen) of lower morbidity. Conclusion: Geographical differences in morbidity of asthma and asthmalike complaints were ascertained and remained stable afer adjustment for potential confounders. However, the choice of the way of presentation (relative risk versus deviation from the weighted mean of the prevalences) can provoke different suggestive effects.
|Translated title of the contribution||Asthma and asthma-like complaints among schoolchildren: Comparison between districts in Germany and Austria|
|Journal||Zeitschrift fur Gesundheitswissenschaften|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)