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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
SOLE, Dirceu and ISAAC - GRUPO BRASILEIRO et al. Prevalence of symptoms of asthma, rhinitis, and atopic eczema among Brazilian children and adolescents identified by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC): phase 3. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2006, vol.82, n.5, pp. 341-346. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572006000600006.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, rhinitis, and atopic eczema among schoolchildren aged 6 to 7 years and adolescents aged 13 to 14 years in 20 Brazilian cities by using the standardized ISAAC written questionnaire, and to assess the association of this prevalence with latitude, altitude and average annual temperature of collaborating centers. METHODS: Schoolchildren and adolescents from five Brazilian regions participated in the study, totaling 23,422 ISAAC questionnaires answered by schoolchildren's parents and 58,144 questionnaires answered by adolescents. The values for latitude, altitude and average annual temperature were obtained from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. RESULTS: The mean prevalence rates among schoolchildren and adolescents were respectively 24.3 and 19.0% for active asthma; 12.6 and 14.6% for rhinoconjunctivitis; and 8.2 and 5.0% for atopic eczema. A significant negative association was observed between latitude and physician-diagnosed asthma among schoolchildren, severe asthma, physician-diagnosed asthma, eczema and atopic eczema among adolescents. No association with altitude was found. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and atopic eczema in Brazil varies considerably. Higher prevalence rates, especially of asthma and eczema, were found at centers located closer to the equator.
Keywords : Children; asthma; atopic eczema; rhinitis; allergic rhinoconjunctivitis; prevalence; ISAAC; epidemiology.