Risk factors for asthma and allergic diseases in school children across Lebanon
Mirna Waked1, Pascale Salameh2
1Balamand University, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Lebanese University, Faculty of Public Health, Section II, Fanar, Lebanon
Introduction: Childhood asthma is one of important diseases of childhood. There is no known prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in Lebanon. This study was conducted with a secondary objective of finding the odds of exposure to asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema potential risk factors in Lebanese children.
Material and methods: It is a cross-sectional study on children in public and private schools. A sample of 22 schools participated, where standardized written core questionnaires were distributed. 5–12 year old students completed the questionnaires at home, while 13–14 year old students filled it in class.
Results: 5522 children were evaluated for asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema prevalence and their associated factors. These diseases seem to be similarly affected by parental respiratory problems, parental smoking, infancy gastroesophageal reflux, recurrent otitis, and previous pertussis. Humidity on the bedroom walls is associated with both asthma and allergic rhinitis, a spongy pillow with both allergic rhinitis and eczema, animal possession with asthma, and noncotton mattress with atopic eczema. The adjusted odds ratios for significant associations varied between 1.25 and 3 (0.0001 < p-value < 0.01).
Conclusion: These factors are preventable, thus permitting a possible reduction of the prevalence of these diseases.
Keywords: asthma, eczema, rhinitis, allergic disease, risk factors
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