Prevalence, severity and determinants of asthma in Danish five-year-olds
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
Volume 95, Issue 10, pages 1182–1190, October 2006
How to Cite
HErmann, C., Olivarius, N. D. F., Høst, A., Begtrup, K. and Hollnagel, H. (2006), Prevalence, severity and determinants of asthma in Danish five-year-olds. Acta Paediatrica, 95: 1182–1190. doi: 10.1080/08035250600582814
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
- (Received 21 June 2005; revised 11 January 2006; accepted 18 January 2006)
Background: The prevalence of asthma and wheeze is increasing. Aim: To study the annual and cumulative prevalence of asthma and wheeze in 5-y-old Danish children. Methods: We obtained data on 3052 (82.0% of eligible) Danish children by a postal parental questionnaire including ISAAC questions regarding respiratory symptoms and our own questions on sociodemography and tobacco exposure. Results: “Wheeze ever” was reported in 38.3%, “doctor-diagnosed asthma ever” in 10.5%, “childhood bronchitis ever” in 30.0%, “current wheeze” (<12 mo) in 19.7%, and being “severe” (>3 episodes) in 3.9% of the children. Current wheeze was associated with male gender (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.35–1.96), low parental post-primary education (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02–1.63 for <3 y vs ≥3 y) and current maternal smoking (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.39–2.04). “Severe current wheeze” was recognized as asthma in six and childhood bronchitis in three of 10 cases. Nearly all diagnosed asthmatics had suffered wheeze, two-thirds recently.
Conclusion. We found a high prevalence of asthma and wheeze in Danish late-preschool children, associated with male gender, current maternal tobacco smoking and low parental post-primary education. The majority of children with current wheeze had an early onset, and severe early symptoms tended to persist. Used with consideration, the label “childhood bronchitis” seems purposeful.