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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • rhinoconjunctivitis;
  • atopic eczema;
  • prevalence;
  • tuberculosis;
  • measles

This study aims to assess the relationship among incidence of tuberculosis and measles, in the general population, within the year of birth and the prevalence of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema in teenagers from different Brazilian cities enrolled in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) phases I and III. Positive answers to the questions: ‘Have you had wheezing or whistling in the chest in the past 12 months?’, ‘In the past 12 months, has this nose problem been accompanied by itchy-watery eyes?’ and ‘Has this itchy rash at any time affected any of the following places: the folds of the elbows, behind the knees, in front of the ankles, under the buttocks, or around the neck, ears or eyes?’ identified the teenagers with asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema, respectively. The incidence of tuberculosis and measles, in the general population, observed in the year of birth of the enrolled teenagers (1981/82 and 1988/89) were obtained from governmental agencies: National Foundation of Health (FUNASA) and Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). They were compared with the prevalence of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema reported in both ISAAC phases I and III. Although we observed reduction of the incidence of tuberculosis and measles in the general population in all cities, the prevalence of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic eczema remained stable in most of the centers. In Pernambuco and Paraná, there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis. These data do not corroborate the findings of an inverse relationship between the prevalence of atopic diseases and the decreasing incidence of tuberculosis and measles.