GENDER AS A DETERMINANT OF COMMON RESPIRATORY AILMENTS AMONG SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN IN PUDUCHERRY
*Anitha A. and Dr. V. Raji Sugumar
Introduction: In the last few decades, „gender‟ differences in respiratory health are less explored. Differences do exist physiological or anatomical variations in body size, lung size and airway diameter. Objective: To determine the respiratory discomforts among school children in Puducherry with gender as a variable. Methodology: A cross sectional study was carried out among 871 school going children aged 10-14 years in Puducherry. The data was collected by using structured pre-validated questionnaire to elicit details on socio-economic conditions, health attributes, physical activity and dietary pattern. Stadiometer, weighing scale and flexible tape were used for anthropometric measurements like height, weight and chest circumference. PEFR was measured using Mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter and Pulse Oxymeter was used to measure Oxygen Saturation and Pulse rate. Logistic regression analysis was used to find the risk factors of the same. Results: A total of 871 children surveyed of which, 469 were boys and 402 were girls. The respiratory discomforts included wheezing, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, ear infection, runny or blocked nose and dry cough which were found to be higher in girls 211(53.4%) when compared with boys 184 (46.6%).Similarly, the mean parameters like height (137.6±8.4 > 137.2±8.0 OR=2.1) weight(39.0±7.9 > 30.37±6.3 OR=1.02), chest circumference (24.2±6.9 > 26.7±8.1 OR=1.3), Oxygen Saturation (98.7±19.3> 96.4±13.4 OR=2.07), Pulse Rate (94.5±20.2 > 90.3±19.3 OR=1.9) and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (329.4±64.2 > 319.7±61.9 OR=2.3) were also higher in boys than in girls.Odds Ratio revealed that girls with lower body composition parameters and pulmonary functions were prone for higher risk of respiratory discomforts. Therefore, gender difference is a key factor to determine respiratory health.
Keywords: Gender, Respiratory discomforts, School going children.
[Full Text Article]