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Original Articles

Prevalence of asthma and atopic symptoms in children aged 5-11years

Authors:

K A W Karunasekera ,

Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, LK
About K A W
Senior Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
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K P J Perera,

Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, LK
About K P J
Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
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M T P R Perera,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About M T P R
Temporary Demonstrator, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
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J Abeynarayana

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About J
Temporary Demonstrator, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
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Abstract

Objective To assess prevalence of asthma and atopic
symptoms in a group of school children aged 5-
11years and to look at prevalence of usage of asthma
medications.

Setting Three schools in Gampaha District in August
1998.

Method A questionnaire translated into Sinhala was
distributed to parents/guardians of 2195 children
aged 5-11 years in Grades 1-5 of the schools and the
filled questionnaires were collected through class
teachers. Asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were
defined using the clinical criteria of the International
Study of Asthma and Allergic Conditions (ISAAC).
Data was analysed using Epi Info version 6. Chi
squared test and Chi squared test for trend were used
for significance testing.

Results Return rate of questionnaire was 93%. Sixty six
percent were completed by mother, 30% by father and
rest by guardian. Prevalence of asthma was 23% and of
exercise induced asthma 11%. Prevalence rate of
allergic rhinitis was 10% and eczema 3%. Within the
specific group of asthma, in response to leading
question "Has your child had asthma" only 19% of
parents gave a positive answer. Prevalence of asthma in
males did not significantly differ from that in females
(p=0.5). A decreasing trend of asthma was observed
with increasing age in girls (p less than 0.05). Eighty four
percent of asthmatic children were using salbutamol
orally and 9% without asthma in study population were
also using salbutamol.

Conclusions One in 5 children aged 5-11 years in study
population had asthma but parental perception about
asthma was poor. More than 80% of asthmatics had
some medications for the disease.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2003; 32: 11-14

(Key words: Prevalence, asthma, atopy, children)

doi: 10.4038/sljch.v32i1.737

 

How to Cite: Karunasekera, K.A.W., Perera, K.P.J., Perera, M.T.P.R. and Abeynarayana, J., 2009. Prevalence of asthma and atopic symptoms in children aged 5-11years. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 32(1), pp.11–14. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v32i1.737
Published on 13 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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