The prevalence and severity of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in Kelantanese schoolchildren were determined as part of an international study of the epidemiology of asthma and allergic diseases. The international study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC) written questionnaire was administered to 7055 schoolchildren from February 1995 to August 1995. The respondents were parents or guardians of 5- to 7-year-old children (n = 3939), and schoolchildren aged 12-14 years (n = 3116). The ISAAC video questionnaire (AVQ3.0) was shown to children aged 12-14 years after the written questionnaire. The overall prevalences of 'ever wheezed' and 'wheezing in last 12 months' were 9.4 and 6.0% respectively. The prevalence of 'ever diagnosed with asthma' was 9.4%. Both 'ever wheezed' and 'wheezing in the last 12 months' were significantly higher in 12- to 14-year-old children than in 5- to 7-year-old children, with P values of 0.0006 and 0.014 respectively. No gender differences in the prevalences were observed. For the complete study group, 4.7% of children had sleep disturbed by wheezing but only 1.1% had a severe attack limiting speech in the preceding 12 months. Sleep disturbance was more common in the 12- to 14-year-old children than in 5- to 7-year-old children (P = 0.006). There was no difference between the age groups for severe attacks limiting speech. The overall prevalence of rhinitis and eczema symptoms were 27 and 12%, respectively. The prevalence of rhinitis in the 12-14 year age group (38.2%) was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than in the 5-7 year age group (18.2%). The prevalence of eczema in the 5-7 year age group (13.7%) was significantly higher (P = < 0.0001) than in the 12-14 year age group (9.9%). These prevalence data are comparable with previous reports in Malaysian children, but are considerably lower than those reported for most developed countries.
Associations between early life exposure to farm animals and respiratory symptoms and allergy in children have been reported in developed countries, but little is known about such associations in developing countries.
BACKGROUND: The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) identified trends in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema over a seven-year period. We hypothesised that environmental influences on the three diseases are different and therefore investigated the correlation over time between trends in the prevalence of these diseases and their combinations at centre and individual level.
METHODS: Centre level analyses were correlations between time trends in the prevalence of symptoms. At an individual level, odds ratios were calculated for associations between symptoms between Phases One and Three. We also investigated potential effect modification in the younger versus older age group; male versus female; and by average Gross National Income per capita (GNI).
RESULTS: Both phases were completed in 66 centres in 37 countries for the 6-7 year age group and in 106 centres in 56 countries for the 13-14 year age group. We found that the correlations in time trends were stronger for the older age group than the younger one. Between symptoms of diseases, correlations of time trends were the strongest for rhinoconjunctivitis with eczema and weakest for eczema with asthma. The relationship between the three diseases was generally consistent over the seven-year period, and there was little association found with average GNI.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite some increase in the proportion of children with symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, the pattern between the three diseases has not changed much, suggesting that similar factors may be affecting them at a global level.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to common aeroallergens among Malaysian asthmatic patients with and without rhinitis.
METHODOLOGY: An SPT using eight aeroallergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, cat fur, cockroach, Acacia sp., Bermuda grass, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger) was performed on 206 asthmatic patients.
RESULTS: One hundred and forty patients (68%) were reactive to at least one of the aeroallergens. Among the SPT-positive patients, a positive prick test reaction to the house dust mites, D. pteronyssinus (93.6%), and D. farinae (81.4%) was most common, followed by cat fur (20.0%), cockroach (7.9%), Bermuda grass (7.9%), Acacia sp. (7.9%), A. fumigatus (0.7%) and A. niger (0.7%). A history of rhinitis was elicited in 111 (53.9%) patients and 95 (85.3%) of these patients were SPT-positive compared with only 45 (47.4%) of 95 patients with asthma symptoms alone (P < 0.001). The presence of rhinitis and a young age of onset of asthma were independent factors for positive SPT reaction to at least one of the aeroallergens.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of SPT reactivity to common aeroallergens is high among Malaysian asthmatics, particularly in those with an early age of onset and in those with coexisting rhinitis.
Study site: Asthma Clinic, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and rhinosinusitis are becoming increasingly prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific Burden of Respiratory Diseases (APBORD) study was a cross-sectional, observational study which examined the disease and economic burden of AR, asthma, COPD, and rhinosinusitis across Asia-Pacific using 1 standard protocol. Here we report symptoms, healthcare resource use (HCRU), work impairment, and associated cost in Taiwan.Consecutive participants aged ≥ 18 years presenting to a physician with symptoms meeting the diagnostic criteria for a primary diagnosis of asthma, AR, COPD, or rhinosinusitis were enrolled. Participants and their treating physician completed surveys detailing respiratory symptoms, HCRU, work productivity, and activity impairment. Costs including direct medical costs and indirect costs associated with lost work productivity were calculated.The study enrolled 1001 patients. AR was the most frequent primary diagnosis (31.2%). A quarter of patients presented with a combination of respiratory diseases, with AR and asthma being the most frequent combination (14.1%). Cough or coughing up phlegm was the primary reason for the medical visit for patients with asthma and COPD, whereas nasal symptoms (watery runny nose, blocked nose, and congestion) were the primary reasons for AR and rhinosinusitis. Specialists were the most frequently used healthcare resource by patients with AR (26.1%), asthma (26.4%), COPD (26.6%), and rhinosinusitis (47.3%). The mean annual cost per patient with a respiratory disease was US$4511 (SD 5395). The cost was almost double for employed patients (US$8047, SD 6175), with the majority attributable to lost productivity.Respiratory diseases have a significant impact on disease burden in Taiwan. Treatment strategies that prevent lost work productivity could greatly reduce the economic burden of these diseases.
Asia-Pacific Burden of Respiratory Diseases (APBORD) was a cross-sectional, observational study examining the burden of respiratory disease in adults across 6 Asia-Pacific countries.This article reports symptoms, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), work impairment and cost burden associated with allergic rhinitis (AR), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and rhinosinusitis in Thailand.Consecutive participants aged ≥18 years with a primary diagnosis of AR, asthma, COPD, or rhinosinusitis were enrolled at 4 hospitals in Thailand during October 2012 and October 2013. Participants completed a survey detailing respiratory symptoms, HCRU, work productivity, and activity impairment. Locally sourced unit costs were used in the calculation of total costs.The study enrolled 1000 patients. The most frequent primary diagnosis was AR (44.2%), followed by rhinosinusitis (24.1%), asthma (23.7%), and COPD (8.0%). Overall, 316 (31.6%) of patients were diagnosed with some combination of the 4 diseases. Blocked nose or congestion (17%) and cough or coughing up phlegm (16%) were the main reasons for the current medical visit. The mean annual cost for patients with a respiratory disease was US$1495 (SD 3133) per patient. Costs associated with work productivity loss were the principal contributor for AR and rhinosinusitis patients while medication costs were the highest contributor for asthma and COPD patients.The study findings highlight the burden associated with 4 prevalent respiratory diseases in Thailand. Thorough investigation of concomitant conditions and improved disease management may help to reduce the burden of these respiratory diseases.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between endotoxin and (1,3)-β-glucan concentrations in office dust and respiratory symptoms and airway inflammation among 695 office workers in Malaysia.METHODS: Health data were collected using a questionnaire, sensitisation testing and measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO). Indoor temperature, relative air humidity (RH) and carbon dioxide (CO₂) were measured in the offices and settled dust was vacuumed and analysed for endotoxin and (1,3)-β-glucan concentrations. Associations were analysed by two level multiple logistic regression.RESULTS: Overall, 9.6% of the workers had doctor-diagnosed asthma, 15.5% had wheeze, 18.4% had daytime attacks of breathlessness and 25.8% had elevated FeNO (≥25 ppb). The median levels in office dust were 11.3 EU/mg endotoxin and 62.9 ng/g (1,3)-β-glucan. After adjusting for personal and home environment factors, endotoxin concentration in dust was associated with wheeze (P = 0.02) and rhinoconjunctivitis (P = 0.007). The amount of surface dust (P = 0.04) and (1,3)-β-glucan concentration dust (P = 0.03) were associated with elevated FeNO.CONCLUSION: Endotoxin in office dust could be a risk factor for wheeze and rhinoconjunctivitis among office workers in mechanically ventilated offices in a tropical country. The amount of dust and (1,3)-β-glucan (a marker of indoor mould exposure) were associated with Th2 driven airway inflammation.
To investigate the aetiology of rhinitis occurring in pregnancy, by (1) describing the relationship between pregnancy rhinitis and serum oestrogen, progesterone, placental growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor, and (2) assessing the prevalence of pregnancy rhinitis among Malaysian women.
BACKGROUND: Exposure to parental smoking is associated with wheeze in early childhood, but in 2006 the US Surgeon General stated that the evidence is insufficient to infer a causal relationship between exposure and asthma in childhood and adolescents.
AIMS: To examine the association between maternal and paternal smoking and symptoms of asthma, eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis.
METHODS: Parents or guardians of children aged 6-7 years completed written questionnaires about symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, and several risk factors, including maternal smoking in the child's first year of life, current maternal smoking (and amount) and paternal smoking. Adolescents aged 13-14 years self completed the questionnaires on these symptoms and whether their parents currently smoked.
RESULTS: In the 6-7-year age group there were 220 407 children from 75 centres in 32 countries. In the 13-14-year age group there were 350 654 adolescents from 118 centres in 53 countries. Maternal and paternal smoking was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of asthma, eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis in both age groups, although the magnitude of the OR is higher for symptoms of asthma than the other outcomes. Maternal smoking is associated with higher ORs than paternal smoking. For asthma symptoms there is a clear dose relationship (1-9 cigarettes/day, OR 1.27; 10-19 cigarettes/day, OR 1.35; and 20+ cigarettes/day, OR 1.56). When maternal smoking in the child's first year of life and current maternal smoking are considered, the main effect is due to maternal smoking in the child's first year of life. There was no interaction between maternal and paternal smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has confirmed the importance of maternal smoking, and the separate and additional effect of paternal smoking. The presence of a dose-response effect relationship with asthma symptoms suggests that the relationship is causal, however for eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis causality is less certain.
A prevalence study was conducted among office workers in Malaysia (N= 695). The aim of this study was to examine associations between asthma, airway symptoms, rhinitis and house dust mites (HDM) and cat allergy and HDM levels in office dust. Medical data was collected by a questionnaire. Skin prick tests were performed for HDM allergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae) and cat allergen Felis domesticus. Indoor temperature and relative air humidity (RH) were measured in the offices and vacuumed dust samples were analyzed for HDM allergens. The prevalence of D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae and cat allergy were 50.3%, 49.0% and 25.5% respectively. Totally 9.6% had doctor-diagnosed asthma, 15.5% had current wheeze and 53.0% had current rhinitis. The Der p 1 (from D. pteronyssinus) and Der f 1 (from D. farinae) allergens levels in dust were 556 ng/g and 658 ng/g respectively. Statistical analysis was conducted by multilevel logistic regression, adjusting for age, gender, current smoking, HDM or cat allergy, home dampness and recent indoor painting at home. Office workers with HDM allergy had more wheeze (p= 0.035), any airway symptoms (p= 0.032), doctor-diagnosed asthma (p= 0.005), current asthma (p= 0.007), current rhinitis (p= 0.021) and rhinoconjuctivitis (p< 0.001). Cat allergy was associated with wheeze (p= 0.021), wheeze when not having a cold (p= 0.033), any airway symptoms (p= 0.034), doctor-diagnosed asthma (p= 0.010), current asthma (p= 0.020) and nasal allergy medication (p= 0.042). Der f 1 level in dust was associated with daytime breathlessness (p= 0.033) especially among those with HDM allergy. Der f 1 levels were correlated with indoor temperature (p< 0.001) and inversely correlated with RH (p< 0.001). In conclusion, HDM and cat allergies were common and independently associated with asthma, airway symptoms and rhinitis. Der f 1 allergen can be a risk factor for daytime breathlessness.