Socio-demographic factors related to under-diagnosis of childhood asthma in Upper Silesia, Poland
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Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Poland
Department of Pneumonology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Poland
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Corresponding author
Jan E. Zejda   

Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2017;24(2):171-175
The presented study of 4,535 children aged 7–17 years in the Upper Silesian region of Poland yielded 186 cases of previously known asthma, and 44 children with newly diagnosed asthma. The aim of the presented study was to identify non-medical factors that could explain why children with a newly established diagnosis (‘undiagnosed asthma’) had not been diagnosed in the past.

Material and Methods:
The study was performed according to a case-control design. Parents of the children answered questionnaires on socio-economic status and family-related factors. Statistical determinants of undiagnosed asthma were explored using raw (OR) and logistic odds ratios with their 95% confidence intervals (logOR, 95%CI).

Children with undiagnosed asthma were younger compared to the group with previously known asthma (11.3±2.1 vs. 12.6±2.5 years; p=0.0008). Newly diagnosed cases were more frequent in children who had less parental attention (less than 1 hour/day spent by parent with child – OR=4.36; 95%CI: 1.76–10.81) and who were not registered with specialized health care (OR=2.20; 95%CI: 0.95–5.06). Results of logistic regression analysis suggest that under-diagnosis of asthma is related to age below 12 years – logOR = 3.59 (95%CI: 1.28–10.36), distance to a health centre > 5 km – logOR = 3.45 (95%CI: 1.05–11.36), time spent with child < 1 hour/day – logOR = 6.28 (95%CI: 1.98–19.91).

Among non-medical determinants of undiagnosed asthma the age of a child plays a major role. Another factors of importance is the large distance between residence and health centre, and low parental attention at home.

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