Prevalence and risk factors for wheezing and allergic diseases in preschool children: A perspective from the Mediterranean coast of Turkey

Publication date: July–August 2017
Source:Allergologia et Immunopathologia, Volume 45, Issue 4
Author(s): E. Bolat, T. Arikoglu, M.A. Sungur, S.B. Batmaz, S. Kuyucu
ObjectivesThe aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of allergic diseases in preschool children from one of the biggest cities in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey.MethodsThe study population included 396 preschool children attending to urban daycare centres in Mersin. In the first stage, a comprehensive standardised questionnaire modified from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) was employed. In the second stage, serum food and inhalant specific IgE, and skin tests were performed in 45 children with frequent wheezing and 28 children with no wheezing.ResultsThe prevalence of ever wheezing, current wheezing, physician-diagnosed asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were 53% (210), 33.3% (132), 27.3% (108), 13.4% (53) and 8.3% (33), respectively. A family history of atopy (OR=2.5, 95% CI: 1.3–4.7, p=0.004), dampness at home (OR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.2–4.8, p=0.008), a history of intestinal parasites (OR=4.3, 95% CI: 1.7–10.9, p=0.002), previous history of pneumonia (OR=6.9, 95% CI: 1.9–25.9, p=0.004), initiation of complementary foods before the age of three months (OR=6.1, 95%CI: 1.4–26.9, p=0.02) and presence of food allergy (OR=3.1, 95% CI: 1.1–9.2, p=0.03) were found to be significant risk factors for physician-diagnosed asthma. The risk factors for frequent wheezing were maternal smoking during pregnancy (OR=5.2, 95% CI: 0.9–28.7, p=0.05) and high serum IgE levels (OR=2.9, 95% CI: 0.9–9.0, p=0.05) at borderline significance.ConclusionOur study was the first epidemiological study in preschool children in the Mediterranean region of Turkey and demonstrated a high prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases, probably related to humid climatic properties in addition to other environmental and genetic factors.

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