Risk factors for atopy among school children in a rural area of Latin America
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2004
Clinical & Experimental Allergy
Volume 34, Issue 6, pages 845–852, June 2004
How to Cite
Cooper, P. J., Chico, M. E., Rodrigues, L. C., Strachan, D. P., Anderson, H. R., Rodriguez, E. A., Gaus, D. P. and Griffin, G. E. (2004), Risk factors for atopy among school children in a rural area of Latin America. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 34: 845–852. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2004.01958.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2004
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2004
- Submitted 23 January 2003; revised 23 December 2003; accepted 14 February 2004
- socio-economic level
Background Infection with common childhood infectious diseases including geohelminth infections may provide protection against the development of atopy and allergic disease. Few studies have investigated risk factors for atopy among children living in rural areas of Latin America.
Objective To identify risk factors associated with atopy among school-age children in a rural area of Latin America.
Methods Analytic cross-sectional study of school-age children conducted in seven rural schools in Pichincha Province in Ecuador. Detailed risk factor information was obtained by questionnaire, stool samples were collected for identification of geohelminth parasites, and Mantoux testing was performed to determine tuberculin sensitization.
Results A total of 1002 children from seven rural schools were recruited. The prevalence of geohelminth infections was high (70.1% were infected with at least one geohelminth parasite) and the prevalence of allergic sensitization was high (20.0% had evidence of aeroallergen sensitization). Factors associated with significant protection against atopy in multivariate analyses were the presence of overcrowding in the child's home, low socio-economic level, and infection with geohelminth parasites, and the protective effects of the three factors were statistically independent.
Conclusion Low socio-economic level, overcrowding and geohelminth infection, are independently protective against atopy among school-age children living in a rural area of Latin America.