THE PREVALENCE OF ASTHMA AND ALLERGIC DISEASES IN SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN ALBAYDA-LIBYA
Mohamed Thabet Ali*, Najwa H. Abduljawad and Abdalla Saad Abdalla Al-Zawi
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of asthma and other allergic diseases as well as the factors affecting this condition in school children in Albayda-Libya. Method: This cross-sectional population-based study using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) protocol was carried out on 478 school-children aged between 6-15 years during March to June 2019. Results: There were 236 (49.4%) boys and 242 (50.6%) girls. The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in the 6-15 year-old children was found to be 12.3%, 13.3% and 8.3%, respectively. The prevalence of asthma was highest in 6-9 year-old school-children (14.1%), and lowest (5.0%) in13-15 year-old children. The prevalence of asthma diagnosed by a doctor was 5.0%. The cumulative and current prevalence of wheezing were found to be 18.0% and 13.1%, respectively. The cumulative prevalence of allergic disorders was found to be 22.5%. The presence of domestic animals at home and dampness of the home were found to be important risk factors for asthma. Family history of asthma, eczema, clinician-diagnosed asthma, and history of frequent sinusitis were found to be significantly higher in asthmatics. Conclusion: The observed asthma prevalence in the study group ranges from 8.3% to 13.3%, this is comparable to what have been found in the previous literature reports, and the data reflects the significant impact of the asthma as a chronic illness affecting a notable number of children in the area of Albayda–Libya.
Keywords: Prevalence of asthma, children.
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