Time trend of asthma prevalence among school children in Taiwan: ISAAC phase I and III surveys*

Authors

  • Yung-Ling Lee,

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
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  • Bing-Fang Hwang,

    1. School and Graduate Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, College of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Ying-Chu Lin,

    1. College of Dental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
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  • Yueliang Leon Guo,

    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Taiwan University (NTU) and NTU Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Taiwan ISAAC Study Group

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    • *

      Taiwan ISAAC Study Group includes the following investigators: Chien-Jen Chen, Yueliang Guo, Jia-Ming Lin and Ruey-Shiung Lin from National Taiwan University (Taipei); Li-Mei Chen from Fu-Jen Catholic University (Taipei); Pesus Chou and Song-Lih Huang from National Yang-Ming University (Taipei); Guang-Ming Shiao from Taipei Veterans General Hospital (Taipei); Kue-Hsiung Hsieh from Chang Gung University (Taoyuan); Bing-Fang Hwang, Hsien-Wen Kuo, Jim-Shoung Lai and Fung-Chang Sung from China Medical University (Taichung); Yung-Ling Lee and Huey-Jen Su from National Cheng Kung University (Tainan); Ying-Chin Ko and Ying-Chu Lin from Kaohsiung Medical University (Kaohsiung); Cheng-Kuang Shaw from Tzu-Chi University (Hualien).

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 23, Issue 2, 207, Article first published online: 21 March 2012

Yueliang Leon Guo, Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, 1 Sec 1, Jen-Ai Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
Tel.: +836 2 33228215
Fax: +836 2 33228216
E-mail: leonguo@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

The standardized International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) is a valid tool in assessing prevalence of asthma indices. In order to determine the time trends of childhood asthma in Taiwan, we compared data from nationwide ISAAC surveys from a very large sample of Taiwanese 12- to 15-year-old school children, using ISAAC core written and video questionnaires. The number of participants was 44,104 in 1995–96 (phase I) and 11,048 in 2001 (phase III). We found a general tendency towards an increase in lifetime prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma and asthma symptoms between two surveys, more marked for girls than for boys. Most of the 12-month prevalence of asthma symptoms decreased among boys but stabilized among girls. When comparing different severity levels, we also noted that the decreasing trends of current symptoms were more marked with regard to severe symptoms than mild symptoms in both sexes. A combination of both improved awareness and management of asthma might in part explain this circumstance. Over the past decade in Taiwan, the lifetime prevalence of childhood asthma was increasing, more marked among girls; however, the 12-month prevalence of asthma symptoms was decreasing, mostly among boys. The exact reasons for such trends remain to be explored.

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