PURPOSE: Asthma is a frequent and serious chronic respiratory disease sometimes fatal. It involves all ages and all social subclasses. The goal of our study is to determine asthmatics demography in a low socio-economic community in Lebanon and to describe its association with various epidemiologic factors.
METHODS: Computerized data of 44 814 patients of a nongovernmental organization (Hariri Foundation), in Lebanon were reviewed. Asthmatic patients diagnosed by a health professional on the basis of medical criteria during the period which spreads out from January 2003 to June 2005 were retained. The socio-economic characteristics of this population were retrieved and their geographical distributions were depicted. The study focused on the association of asthma with smoking, depression, obesity and alcohol consumption.
RESULTS: The majority of studied population (75%) belongs to a low socio-economic environment with a salary lower than 200$ per month. 31% are illiterate. 583 patients (male 58.2%) are diagnosed upon ICD-10 as asthmatic by primary care physicians with a mean age 26±21.5. The number of children (385 subjects) is higher than that of adults with a rate of 2.08% and 1.09% respectively. 19.1% of the patients are smokers. Association with exsmokers (OR 4.37; 95% CI 2.38, 8.02) is stronger than with regular smokers (OR 1.44; 95% CI 1.11, 1.87). A significant and strong association is found with depression (OR 25.6; 95% CI 3.32, 197.6), obesity (OR 4.09, 95% CI 1.31, 12.73) and the regular alcohol consumption (OR 11.78; 95% CI 1.55, 89.44).
CONCLUSION: Distribution of asthma disease in a low socio-economic population is defined. The importance of the epidemiological associations established universally between asthma and other affections are checked. Regular and ex-smokers, depression, obesity, regular alcohol consumption are risk factors for asthma disease.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Demographic characteristics of asthmatic patients of a low socioeconomic population are determined in order to better deal with the disease by the health care organizations.
DISCLOSURE: Moussa Riachy, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information