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Clinical Investigations: ASTHMA |

Trends of Asthma in Mexico*: An 11-Year Analysis in a Nationwide Institution

Mario H. Vargas, MD, MS, FCCP; Guillermo S. Díaz-Mejía, MD, FCCP; María E. Y. Furuya, MD, PhD; Jorge Salas, MD; Alejandro Lugo
Author and Funding Information

*From the Unidad de Investigación Médica en Epidemiología Clínica (Dr. Vargas) and División de Especialidades Médicas (Dr. Furuya), Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI; and Programa Nacional de Asma (Dr. Díaz-Mejía and Mr. Lugo), Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; and Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias (Dr. Salas), Mexico DF, Mexico.

Correspondence to: Mario H. Vargas, MD, MS, FCCP, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Epidemiología Clínica, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, IMSS, Av. Cuauhtémoc 330, CP 06720, México DF, México; e-mail: mhvargasb@yahoo.com.mx



Chest. 2004;125(6):1993-1997. doi:10.1378/chest.125.6.1993
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Study objectives: Asthma prevalence is increasing in many countries. Some recent articles, however, claim that this tendency is ending. Our aim was to investigate asthma trends in Mexico.

Design: Annual data on health services provided to asthmatic patients were retrospectively analyzed from 1991 to 2001.

Setting: The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, the largest nationwide medical institution in Mexico (approximately 24 to 32 million insured subjects).

Participants: Health services provided to subjects of any age.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and results: Asthma-associated health services, either expressed as absolute number or as rate per insured subjects, progressively increased until 1997 in family physician office visits (FPOVs) [newly diagnosed cases only], emergency department visits (ERVs), and hospital discharges (HDs). From that year onward, the number and rates of asthma-associated health services decreased. The same trends were observed for age groups 0 to 4 years, 5 to 14 years, 15 to 44 years, and 45 to 64 years. Using a different approach, asthma was diagnosed each year in approximately 0.4% of all FPOVs, but a decrease in this percentage was observed from 1997 onward. Likewise, asthma caused increasing percentages of all ERVs and HDs until 1997, followed by a sharp decline thereafter.

Conclusions: A decline in absolute and relative numbers of asthma-associated health services occurred over recent years in all medical settings, suggesting that the epidemic of new asthma cases is ending and/or that better control of the disease has been achieved.

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asthma ; mexico

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