Early childhood determinants of bronchial asthma: a cross-sectional study from western Uttar Pradesh
Keywords:Bronchial asthma, Children, International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood, Questionnaire
Background: In India, an estimated 57,000 deaths were attributed to Asthma in 2004, and it was seen as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The range of prevalence of bronchial asthma in children in India varied from 2% to 20%. There has been a constant increase in asthma prevalence worldwide in the last two decades, and the same is being observed in India. The objective was to determine the prevalence of bronchial asthma among children of 5-15 years and its early childhood risk factors in a slum of Meerut.
Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted by interviewing parents of randomly selected children using the International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood Questionnaire. Assuming the prevalence of bronchial asthma to be 10% at 95% confidence interval and allowing a relative precision of 20% for the estimate, the sample size was calculated as 864. The observations thus obtained were analyzed using relevant statistical methods.
Results: A total of 880 children of 5-15 years participated in the study showing a response rate of 97.02%. The prevalence of asthma was found to be 9.3%. Non breast fed children and more than 3 episodes of lower respiratory tract infections in infancy were found to be associated with bronchial asthma.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of bronchial asthma warrants a national program to reduce the morbidity in children.
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