[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The people of Puerto Rico have one of the highest asthma prevalence and morbidity rates in the U.S.A. Limited information is available on the most common allergy sensitivities among island residents. The aims of the study were to determine the most common inhalant allergen sensitivities among a convenience sample in Puerto Rico and determine as well their relationship to an asthma or a rhinitis diagnosis.
In August of 2008, we evaluated a cohort of subjects visiting ambulatory clinics offering health screening; the clinics were located in two of the island's biggest cities: Guaynabo in the north and Ponce in the south. Subjects over three years of age (or their parents) visiting the clinics answered a survey on asthma and rhinitis and were skin tested for reactivity to common aeroallergens.
The survey included 395 subjects with a mean age of 29 years. Thirty-six percent reported a history of asthma, of whom 83% (30% of the total participants) reported still having asthma, and 76% reported having rhinitis. Sixty-five percent of the subjects were sensitive to at least one antigen. Subjects sensitive to mites were 53% more likely to have suffered from asthma than were non-mite-sensitized subjects (OR = 1.53, p < 0.05) sensitivity to mosquitoes (OR = 2.25, p < 0.02), mites (OR = 2.53, p < 0.00001), feathers (OR = 2.72, p < 0.03), dogs (OR = 3.02, p < 0.01), or cats (OR = 3.42, p < 0.001) increased an individual's likelihood of suffering from rhinitis.
The most common sensitivities identified were to mites and insects. Mite sensitivity was associated with rhinitis and asthma. Sensitivity to animal dander as well as to mosquitoes was associated to with rhinitis. Further studies are warranted to explore the relevance of allergen sensitivity in terms of asthma and rhinitis prevalence and morbidity among residents of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico health sciences journal 03/2012; 31(1):24-8. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Puerto Ricans have one of the highest asthma prevalence and morbidity rates. However, limited information is available on asthma care and attitudes toward asthma treatment among Puerto Ricans living in the island.
We evaluated a cohort of subjects attending Ambulatory Health Screen Clinic in the two main cities in the north and south of the island during August of 2008. Subjects attending the clinic answered a survey about asthma care and attitudes toward asthma treatment. Approval was obtained from the Medical Sciences IRB and written informed consent obtained from all research subjects before enrollment.
According to subject report, asthma care is primarily conducted by primary care physicians including pediatricians (35.8%), general practitioners (31.4%), and family physicians (4.3%). Pulmonary physicians conducted 23.3% of asthma care and allergists conduct 3.6%. Only 65.5 % reported using prescribed asthma medications. Fear of medication side effects (37.7%), lacks of health insurance coverage (26.4%), and medication cost (15.1%) were the most common causes reported for poor compliance. Subjects considered that physicians were one of the best sources (68.1%) for information on asthma, followed by the TV (23.7%) and the web (15.4%).
Most asthma care in Puerto Rico is conducted by primary care providers. Subspecialists have a limited role and particularly allergists. Efforts to increased public and physician awareness of the role of allergists in asthma care in Puerto Rico are warranted.
Boletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico 01/2011; 103(1):18-21.