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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


BRITTO, Murilo C. A. et al. Asthma in schoolchildren from Recife, Brazil. Prevalence comparison: 1994-95 and 2002. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.5, pp.391-400. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of asthma and asthma variants in schoolchildren from Recife in 2002, and to compare these data with data from 1994-95; to analyze the relationship between maternal schooling and the presence of asthma or worsening asthma; and to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the yearly prevalence of wheezing as an asthma indicator. METHODS: Cross-sectional study. A probabilistic sample of 3,086 and 2,774 13- and 14-year-old students answered a written questionnaire in 1994-95 and 2002, as part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. RESULTS: The following prevalence rates were observed in 1994-95 and 2002, respectively: cumulative prevalence of referred asthma: 21 vs. 18.2%; cumulative prevalence of wheezing: 39 vs. 38%; yearly prevalence of wheezing: 19.7 vs. 19.4%; yearly prevalence of night cough: 31 vs. 38%; yearly prevalence of exercise-induced wheezing: 20.6 vs. 23.8%. The yearly prevalence of asthma attacks was 16.3% vs. 15.2% for 1 to 3 attacks; 2.7% vs. 1.2% for 4 to 12 attacks; and 1% vs. 0.4% for more than 12 attacks. The yearly prevalence of attacks that disturbed sleep was 13 and 10.3%. The yearly prevalence of attacks with compromised speech was 4.8 and 4.1%. Higher levels of maternal schooling were related to higher cumulative prevalence of referred asthma and to cumulative and yearly prevalence of wheezing. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of asthma and its severe forms is high in teenager students in Recife. It is also related to higher levels of maternal schooling.

Keywords : Asthma; adolescent; child; school health; prevalence.

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