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Ann Agric Environ Med 2004, 11, 63-66

PREVALENCE OF ASTHMA AND SOME RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
IN THE YEARS 1995 AND 2001 IN SCHOOLCHILDREN FROM
RURAL REGIONS OF POLAND

Andrzej Emeryk1, Ewa Chojna1, Małgorzata Bartkowiak-Emeryk2, Jacek Postepski1

1Department of Pulmonology and Rheumatology, Children Hospital, Skubiszewski
Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
2Department of Clinical Immunology, Skubiszewski Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland

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Emeryk A, Chojna E, Bartkowiak-Emeryk M, Postepski J: Prevalence of asthma and some respiratory symptoms in the years 1995 and 2001 in schoolchildren from rural regions of Poland. Ann Agric Environ Med 2004, 11, 63-66.

Abstract: The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence of asthma and some respiratory symptoms and diseases in schoolchildren from rural regions of Poland in 2001 and to compare these data with previous estimations in 1995. Repeated cross-sectional epidemiological studies were performed among 594 primary schoolchildren in 1995 and 541 in 2001 using the same standardized questionnaire. Lifetime prevalence of "doctor's-diagnosed asthma" increased significantly from 3.4% in 1995 to 9.6% in 2001. This trend may be due to the real increase in the prevalence of asthma and also may be a result of better physician's diagnosis and/or better parents' health education. A substantial increase of asthma-related symptoms (post-exercise breathlessness, wheezing and dyspnoea) was also observed between these years (8.3-17.7%, 6.2-13.2% and 7.6-13.3%, respectively). These results suggest that asthma in Polish schoolchildren is still underdiagnosed.

Address for correspondence: Andrzej Emeryk MD, PhD, Department of Pulmonology and Rheumatology, University Children Hospital in Lublin, ul. W. Chodzki 2, 20-093 Lublin, Poland. E-mail: andrzejemeryk@plusnet.pl

Key words: children, asthma prevalence, rural regions, epidemiological study.


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