Worldwide trends in the prevalence of asthma symptoms: phase III of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC)

Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University Wellington Campus, Private Box 756, Wellington, New Zealand.
Thorax (Impact Factor: 8.56). 10/2007; 62(9):758-66. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2006.070169
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Phase I of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) was designed to allow worldwide comparisons of the prevalence of asthma symptoms. In phase III the phase I survey was repeated in order to assess changes over time.
The phase I survey was repeated after an interval of 5-10 years in 106 centres in 56 countries in children aged 13-14 years (n = 304,679) and in 66 centres in 37 countries in children aged 6-7 years (n = 193,404).
The mean symptom prevalence of current wheeze in the last 12 months changed slightly from 13.2% to 13.7% in the 13-14 year age group (mean increase of 0.06% per year) and from 11.1% to 11.6% in the 6-7 year age group (mean increase of 0.13% per year). There was also little change in the mean symptom prevalence of severe asthma or the symptom prevalence measured with the asthma video questionnaire. However, the time trends in asthma symptom prevalence showed different regional patterns. In Western Europe, current wheeze decreased by 0.07% per year in children aged 13-14 years but increased by 0.20% per year in children aged 6-7 years. The corresponding findings per year for the other regions in children aged 13-14 years and 6-7 years, respectively, were: Oceania (-0.39% and -0.21%); Latin America (+0.32% and +0.07%); Northern and Eastern Europe (+0.26% and +0.05%); Africa (+0.16% and +0.10%); North America (+0.12% and +0.32%); Eastern Mediterranean (-0.10% and +0.79%); Asia-Pacific (+0.07% and -0.06%); and the Indian subcontinent (+0.02% and +0.06%). There was a particularly marked reduction in current asthma symptom prevalence in English language countries (-0.51% and -0.09%). Similar patterns were observed for symptoms of severe asthma. However, the percentage of children reported to have had asthma at some time in their lives increased by 0.28% per year in the 13-14 year age group and by 0.18% per year in the 6-7 year age group.
These findings indicate that international differences in asthma symptom prevalence have reduced, particularly in the 13-14 year age group, with decreases in prevalence in English speaking countries and Western Europe and increases in prevalence in regions where prevalence was previously low. Although there was little change in the overall prevalence of current wheeze, the percentage of children reported to have had asthma increased significantly, possibly reflecting greater awareness of this condition and/or changes in diagnostic practice. The increases in asthma symptom prevalence in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia indicate that the global burden of asthma is continuing to rise, but the global prevalence differences are lessening.


Available from: Colin F Robertson, May 23, 2015
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The acquisition of a modern lifestyle may explain variations in asthma prevalence between urban and rural areas in developing countries. However, the effects of lifestyle on asthma have been investigated as individual factors with little consideration given to the effects of lifestyle as a set of attributes. The aim of the present study was to identify modern lifestyle domains and assess how these domains might explain wheeze prevalence in urban and rural areas. We analysed data from cross-sectional studies of urban and rural schoolchildren in Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador. Variables were grouped as indicators of socioeconomic factors, sedentarism, agricultural activities and household characteristics to represent the main lifestyle features of the study population. We used multiple correspondence analyses to identify common lifestyle domains and cluster analysis to allocate children to each domain. We evaluated associations between domains and recent wheeze by logistic regression. We identified 2-3 lifestyle domains for each variable group. Although wheeze prevalence was similar in urban (9.4%) and rural (10.3%) schoolchildren, lifestyle domains presented clear associations with wheeze prevalence. Domains relating to home infrastructure (termed transitional, rudimentary, and basic urban) had the strongest overall effect on wheeze prevalence in both urban (rudimentary vs. basic urban, OR = 2.38, 95%CI 1.12-5.05, p = 0.024) and rural areas (transitional vs. basic urban, OR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.1-3.73, p = 0.024; rudimentary vs. basic urban, OR = 1.88, 95%CI 1.02-3.47, p = 0.043). A high level of sedentarism was associated with wheeze in the rural areas only (OR = 1.64, 95%CI 1.23-2.18, p = 0.001). We identified lifestyle domains associated with wheeze prevalence, particularly living in substandard housing and a high level of sedentarism. Such factors could be modified through programmes of improved housing and education. The use of lifestyle domains provides an alternative methodology for the evaluation of variations in wheeze prevalence in populations with different levels of development.
    Environmental Health 02/2015; 14(1):15. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-14-15 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family molecules play essential roles during the differentiation of helper T cells from naïve precursors. Although the role of STAT3 in driving Th17 cell polarization has been well established, its role on Th2 responses to allergens remains incompletely understood. By employing T cell-specific STAT3 deficient mice, we demonstrate that STAT3 in T cells plays diverse role on Th2 cells depending on their locations in an animal model of allergic asthma. In the bronchial lymph nodes, STAT3-deficient T cells produced significantly reduced levels of Th2 cytokines. The frequencies of Th2 cells among CD4(+) T cells in the lung were comparable between STAT3-sufficient and STAT3-deficient T cells. By contrast, STAT3-deficient T cells in the airway exhibited significantly enhanced production of Th2 cell cytokines compared to STAT3-sufficient T cells. Interestingly, a major population of IL-4/5 producers among STAT3-deficient T cells in the airway co-produced IFNγ. The frequency of Th17 cells was significantly diminished whereas that of Th1 cells was increased in all the lung-associated tissues. Our results demonstrate the dynamic and opposing roles of STAT3 during the development of Th2 cells from bronchial lymph nodes to the airway and propose the need of careful consideration on STAT3-targeting approaches for the treatment of lung diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    International immunopharmacology 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.intimp.2015.03.051 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While epidemiologic research indicates that the prevalence of risk-taking behaviors including cigarette smoking among young people with asthma is substantial, the longitudinal patterns of cigarette smoking in this vulnerable population have received little attention. The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in the longitudinal trajectories of cigarette use behaviors from adolescence to adulthood between young people with and without asthma. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) during the years 1994 to 1995 (Wave I, adolescence), 2001 to 2002 (Wave III, young adulthood), and 2007 to 2008 (Wave IV, adulthood) were analyzed (n=12 244). Latent growth curve models were used to examine the longitudinal trajectories of cigarette use behaviors during the transition to adulthood according to asthma status. Regardless of asthma status, the trajectory means of cigarette use behaviors were found to increase, and then slightly decrease from adolescence to adulthood. In total participants, there were no statistically significant differences in initial levels and changes in cigarette use behaviors according to asthma status. However, in select sex and race subgroups (i.e., females and non-whites), former asthmatics showed greater escalation in cigarette use behaviors than did non-asthmatics or current asthmatics. This study indicated that the changing patterns of cigarette use behaviors during the transition to adulthood among young people with asthma are comparable to or even more drastic than those among young people without asthma.
    03/2015; 48(2):111-7. DOI:10.3961/jpmph.14.053