Asthma prevalence and risk factors in schoolchildren of the city of São Paulo, Brazil

OBJECTIVE: To assess asthma prevalence and potential risk factors associated. METHODS: Cross-sectional study part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. A total of 561 schoolchildren aged 6-7 years from 35 public schools in the city of São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil) were drawn to participate in the study, in 2002. The sample consisted of 168 asthmatic and 393 non-asthmatic children who answered a questionnaire comprising 33 questions on personal, family and environmental information. The association between asthma and the risk factors studied was assessed by logistic regression analysis at a 5% statistical significance. RESULTS: Among the schoolchildren studied, 31.2% reported wheezing in the 12 months preceding the interview. The following risk factors were significantly associated with asthma: male gender (OR=2.4; 95% CI: 1.4;4.2), maternal smoking in the child's first year of life (OR=2.0; 95% CI: 1.1;3.8), eczema on characteristic body areas (OR=3.0; 95% CI: 1.2;7.6) and rhinoconjunctivitis (OR=2.4; 95% CI: 1.2;4.8). CONCLUSIONS: Asthma prevalence in the study area was high and the risk factors identified were male gender, rhinoconjunctivitis in last year, maternal smoking in the child's first year of life and eczema on characteristic body areas.

Child; Asthma; Risk Factors; Questionnaires; Cross-sectional studies

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