To find the prevalence of asthma and probable asthmatics in the age group of 5 –17 years & to identify the risk factors increasing the prevalence of asthma in Urban and Rural area school children.
Out of the 1000 Urban children 872 children and out of 1000 rural children 758 children responded to pre-tested, modified, already validated asthma questionnaire. Children with speech and hearing problems were excluded from the study. According to responses of the questionnaire children were divided into four categories: a) Current asthmatics, b) Probable Asthmatics includes exercise induced & cold induced asthmatics, c) Past Asthmatics, d) Non Asthmatics.
Prevalence of current bronchial asthma in Urban School children was 11.92% and 13.72% for Rural Children respectively. Probable asthmatics i.e exercise induced asthma was 1.94% for Urban and 2.24% for Rural children, cold induced asthma was 2.06% for Urban children and 2.24% for rural children respectively. Past asthma was 3.09% among Urban and 3.03% among rural children respectively.
There was no significant difference in the prevalence of asthma among Urban and rural area children. Prevalence was high among families who use fuel for cooking such as coal fires, Cow dung, Oil stoves and fire wood etc. among rural population. There was increased prevalence of asthma with positive family history of asthma (P<0.001), in family history of smokers and with positive history of wheezing in the family members.
Such survey/studies could prove beneficial in diagnosing and treating bronchial asthma in children. After explaining the harmful effects of fuel such as coal fires, Cow dung, Oil stoves and fire wood etc, we can advise them to seek an alternative to these harmful hazards.
K. Singh, None.