Domestic risk factors for wheeze in urban and rural Ethiopian children

Dagoye, D; Bekele, Z; Woldemichael, K; Nida, H; Yimam, M; Venn, AJ; Hall, A; Britton, JR; Lewis, SA; McKeever, T; Hubbard, R; (2004) Domestic risk factors for wheeze in urban and rural Ethiopian children. QJM, 97 (8). p. 489. ISSN 1460-2725 DOI:

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Background: To identify which environmental exposures underpin the emergence of asthma epidemics, we need to study epidemics as they appear, as is now happening in the Jimma region of Ethiopia. We have previously studied risk factors for asthma in adults in Jimma and have now completed a survey of young children. Aim: To establish the prevalence of asthma in urban and rural children in Jimma, and to identify locally important risk factors. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Methods: All children aged 1-5 years living in Jimma town and three surrounding rural regions were identified. Data were collected using an interviewer-led questionnaire, and consenting children had skin prick tests to house dust mite and cockroach. Results: We surveyed 7155 children, of whom 3623 (51%) were female and 4285 (60%) lived in the urban area. The prevalence of wheeze in the last year was 3.4%, and was lower in the rural area (OR 0.47; 95%CI 0.34-0.66). In the urban area, the main risk factors for wheeze were a longer duration of breastfeeding, use of kerosene, and environmental tobacco smoke, while living with animals was protective. In rural children, the main risk factors were a positive skin prick test and living with animals. Discussion: The prevalence of wheeze in children in the Jimma region is low, particularly in rural children. In addition to having an impact on disease prevalence, place of residence also appears to modify the impact of environmental risk factors for wheeze.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Asthma, prevalence, age, infection, atopy, worldwide, endotoxin, increase, symptoms, exposure
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 15256606
Web of Science ID: 222729100003


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