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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
CHATKIN, Moema N. and MENEZES, Ana Maria B.. Prevalence and risk factors for asthma in schoolchildren in southern Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2005, vol.81, n.5, pp. 411-416. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.2223/JPED.1393.
OBJECTIVE: To study the prevalence and risk factors for asthma in a cohort of 494 children born in 1993 and followed up to the age of six years in Pelotas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. METHODS: A standardized and validated asthma questionnaire, based on the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), was applied. Other information was also collected about socioeconomic background, genetic, nutritional, gestational and allergic factors, and previous infectious episodes. RESULTS: The prevalence of asthma found in this study was 12.8% (95%CI: 10-15.9%). In the multivariate analysis, risk factors such as non-white skin color (RR = 1.9 95%CI: 1.1-3.3%), family history of asthma (RR = 2.8 95%CI: 1.5-5.1), allergic rhinitis in children (RR = 2.6 95%CI: 1.5-4.4) and maternal smoking during pregnancy (RR = 1.7 95%CI: 1-2.9) were associated with asthma. CONCLUSION: Childhood asthma is highly prevalent in Pelotas, and it is a serious public health problem. Therefore, specific programs should be developed for its control.
Keywords : Asthma; epidemiology; prevalence; risk factors.