The prevalence of allergic diseases among Croatian school children according to the ISAAC Phase One questionnaire
Helena Munivrana, Ariana Vorko-Jovic, Stefanija Munivrana, Marin Kursar, Marija Medlobi-Gluhak, Pavao Vlahek
Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(11): CR505-509
Background: The prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in children has been increasing worldwide over the past decades. The ISAAC Phase I results supplies valuable information on the worldwide variations in the prevalence of these diseases. Although ISAAC Phase I was completed in 56 countries, not all regions of Croatia were covered. Because of Croatia’s high regional diversity, the aim was to explore the prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis/rhinoconjuctivitis, and atopic eczema symptoms in the Međimurje region in northern Croatia and compare the results with data from other regions in Croatia and other countries.
Material/Methods: The study was undertaken between January and April 2005 among 12- to 14-year-old children in 27 elementary schools. Data were collected using the standardized ISAAC written and asthma video questionnaires.
Results: A total of 3111 children participated in the study, with a participation rate of 94.33%. 27.6% of the children had symptoms of allergic diseases at some time in their life. Estimated lifetime (ever) prevalence of symptoms were: wheezing 11.86%, allergic rhinitis symptoms 12.21%, and atopic dermatitis symptoms 7.01%. Estimated 12-month prevalence rates were: wheezing 5.11%, allergic rhinitis symptoms 10.87%, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis 7.14%, and atopic dermatitis symptoms 5.34%.
Conclusions: Compared with previous studies conducted in other Croatian regions (the city of Zagreb and a northern Adriatic region) using similar methods, the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis was lower than in the northern Adriatic region but comparable with that in the city of Zagreb, and of atopic dermatitis symptoms in the same range.
Keywords: Child, Asthma - epidemiology, Adolescent, Croatia - epidemiology, Dermatitis, Atopic - epidemiology, Hypersensitivity - epidemiology, Questionnaires, Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial - epidemiology