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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • atopic eczema;
  • rhinitis;
  • trends

The aims of the present study were to assess time trends in symptoms of asthma, rhinitis and atopic eczema among children in the north-east of England. Two cross- sectional surveys 6 yr apart, 6- to 7- and 13- to 14 yr of age, using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, core questionnaire were performed. There was a general increase in symptoms for all the three conditions in both the age groups. In the age group 6- to 7 yr, the increase was generally the same in boys and girls, while in the age group 13- to 14 yr, the increase was generally more marked among boys. In the younger age group, indices related to lifetime diagnosed ever had asthma and having hay fever increased in girls but not in boys, while indices related to lifetime diagnosis of ever having eczema increased in boys and girls. In the older age group, indices related to lifetime diagnosis of ever had asthma slightly increased in boys but did not change in girls, while lifetime diagnosis of ever having hay fever slightly decreased in girls but did not change in boys. The prevalence of lifetime diagnosis of ever having eczema increased in boys and girls. Changes observed in the present study could be related to the changes in lifestyle or environmental factors, awareness or management of symptoms.