Prevalence of asthma symptoms in Omani schoolchildren

Bazdawi M.S. Al-Riyami, Omar A.S. Al-Rawas, Asya A. Al-Riyami, Lyla G. Jasim, Ali J. Mohammed

Abstract


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of asthma in Omani schoolchildren using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC) protocols. Method: The ISAAC-written questionnaire was completed by a total of 7,067 Omani schoolchildren (3,893 children aged 6–7 years of which 56% were boys and 3,174 aged 13–14 years of which 51% were boys) from the 10 health regions in the country. Results: The estimated mean national 12-month prevalence of any wheeze, night waking with wheeze, speech limiting wheeze and exercise wheeze were respectively 7.8%, 3.5%, 3.2% and 6.9% for the 6–7 year age group and 8.9%, 2.9%, 4.0% and 19.2% for the 13–14 year age group. Both age groups reported high prevalence of night cough (19.6% and 20.9% in the younger and the older children respectively). The prevalence of self-reported asthma diagnosis was higher in the older age group (20.7% vs. 10.5%, p<0.001). In the younger age group, the diagnosis of asthma was more common in boys (12.5% vs. 8.0%, p>0.001), but there was no significant difference between the two sexes in the older age group (22.0% of boys vs. 20.5% of girls). There was nearly three-fold difference in the prevalence of self-reported diagnosis of asthma between the regions with the highest and the lowest prevalence of asthma for both young and older children (from 5.3% and 9.5% in Musandam to 14.2% and 30.6% in South Sharqiya, respectively). Conclusion: The results of this first epidemiological survey of asthma in Oman indicate that asthma is common in Omani children and adolescents. Night cough is the most frequent symptom. There is also significant regional variation in prevalence of asthma symptoms and diagnosis within the country and this requires further investigation.


Keywords


Asthma, prevalence, ISAAC, wheezing, night cough, Oman, children

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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