The objective of the present study was to assess the prevalence of asthma and asthma-related symptoms in Finland.
We also wondered whether chronic cough may be an indicator of occult asthma.
Prevalence and characteristics of children with doctor-diagnosed asthma and chronic respiratory symptoms were investigated in 7-12 year old school children from eastern Finland by using a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms.
In addition, skin-prick tests, flow-volume spirometry, and serum total immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurements were performed in children reporting chronic respiratory symptoms.
The parent-reported prevalence of doctor-diagnosed asthma was 4.4%, of wheezing 5.4%, of attacks of shortness of breath with wheezing 4.6%, and of dry cough at night 12%. Children with dry cough only (n-195) had less frequent parental asthma, self-reported allergies, daily respiratory medication, and moisture stains or molds at home than asthmatic children (n=180), but these findings were more frequent than among asymptomatic children.
The present results support the hypothesis that chronic cough may be an indicator of occult asthma.
Therefore, to improve the sensitivity of respiratory questionnaires designed to detect asthma, they should also include questions on chronic cough.
In contrast to what has been suggested previously, the prevalence of childhood asthma in eastern Finland was similar to the prevalences reported from other parts of Finland and from other Western European countries.
Mots-clés Pascal : Asthme, Prévalence, Fonction respiratoire, Finlande, Europe, Epidémiologie, Exploration, Enfant, Homme, Appareil respiratoire pathologie, Bronchopneumopathie obstructive
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Asthma, Prevalence, Lung function, Finland, Europe, Epidemiology, Exploration, Child, Human, Respiratory disease, Obstructive pulmonary disease
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Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0479283
Code Inist : 002B11B. Création : 01/03/1996.