ISAAC-based asthma and atopic symptoms among Ha Noi school children

Nguyen Ngoc Nga, Sanders K Chai, Ta Tuyet Bihn, Gregory Redding, Tim Takaro, Harvey Checkoway, Phan Han Son, Duong Khanh Van, Matthew Keifer, Le Van Trung, Scott Barnhart
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2003, 14 (4): 272-9
Childhood asthma and atopy prevalence patterns in the developing world are only beginning to be defined. No such information exists for Vietnam. Estimates would assist in anticipating health service needs as well as add to the growing database on global patterns of atopy. To estimate the prevalence of atopic symptoms in school children in Ha Noi, Vietnam, a cross-sectional survey was conducted of children aged 5- to 11-years-old in two schools using the parent self-administered International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. The response rate was 66.4% (969 responses). The overall prevalence of selected symptoms were: 'ever wheezed' 24.9%, 'wheezed in past 12 months' 14.9%, 'ever had asthma' 12.1%, 'doctor-diagnosed asthma' 13.9%, 'ever experienced allergic rhinitis (AR) symptoms' 34.9%, 'AR-conjunctivitis symptoms in past 12 months' 10.7%, 'ever had hay fever' 7.8%, 'doctor-diagnosed hay fever' 11.2%, 'ever had eczema' 3.3% and 'doctor-diagnosed eczema' 3.2%. Kappa statistics demonstrated high within symptom category consistency for 'ever had asthma/doctor-diagnosed asthma' (0.728) and 'ever had eczema/doctor-diagnosed eczema' (0.906). Age and gender adjusted odds ratios (OR) were also consistently significant across wheeze and allergic rhinitis symptom categories [highest OR = 10.10 (95% CI 6.23-16.35) between allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and wheeze in past 12 months]. There is a high prevalence of ISAAC-based symptoms in school children in Ha Noi, Vietnam, often above global averages. The high level of association between atopic symptoms suggests some degree of reliability and validity. Childhood atopy symptom prevalence in Vietnam is more similar to that in developed countries rather than developing countries.

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