Similar prevalence of respiratory symptoms and atopy in estonian schoolchildren with changing lifestyle over 4 yrs
2000 (English)In: European Respiratory Journal, ISSN 0903-1936, Vol. 16, no 1, 86-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The prevalence of allergic sensitization and clinical manifestations is low in Eastern Europe, despite a continuous increase in industrialized countries with a market economy. The aim of the present study was to study changes in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and atopic sensitization over time among schoolchildren in Estonia, in relation to environmental changes as the country transformed into a market economy. A cross-sectional study of 10-yr-old children was carried out between October 1996 and April 1997, employing a questionnaire regarding the prevalence of wheezing, rhinitis and itching rash (n=979) and skin-prick tests with seven inhalant allergens (n=640). The results were compared with those of a similar study performed in 19921993. The 12-month prevalence of wheeze was 8.3%, as compared to 9.4% in 1992-1993 (NS) and of asthma was 2.5 versus 3.2% (NS). The prevalence of a positive skin-prick test result was 14.3% in both studies. Furthermore, the prevalence of sensitivity to the individual allergens was similar, except for a significantly higher prevalence of dog sensitivity in 1996-1997 (4.7 versus 2.0%). The prevalence of respiratory and other potentially allergic symptoms, as well as the prevalence of atopic sensitization, remains low in Estonian 10-yr-old children, despite a changing lifestyle over the past 4 yrs. This could indicate that the time period was too short for environmental changes to affect the prevalence of allergy, or alternatively that risk factors associated with a 'western lifestyle' are of particular significance earlier in life. (C)ERS Journals Ltd 2000.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 16, no 1, 86-90 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-47604DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3003.2000.16a15.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-47604DiVA: diva2:268500