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Gender differences in asthma prevalence may depend on how asthma is defined

Henriksen, A H; Holmen, T L and Bjermer, Leif LU (2003) In Respiratory Medicine 97(5). p.491-497
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Asthma may be defined either as wheeze within the previous 12 months (current wheeze) doctor-diagnosed asthma (DDA), or current wheeze plus confirmed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). AIMS: We wanted to estimate asthma prevalence in randomly selected adolescents based on different criteria for asthma diagnosis, study gender differences in reported asthma-like symptoms vs DDA, and relate our findings to measurements of AHR, levels of exhaled nitric oxide (ENO) and total IgE. METHODS: As part of the health survey of North-Trondelag (HUNT), 8571 adolescents aged 13-19 years were investigated with an interview on allergic and respiratory symptoms (phase I study). Of these, 401 subjects who reported wheeze within the previous 12... (More)
BACKGROUND: Asthma may be defined either as wheeze within the previous 12 months (current wheeze) doctor-diagnosed asthma (DDA), or current wheeze plus confirmed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). AIMS: We wanted to estimate asthma prevalence in randomly selected adolescents based on different criteria for asthma diagnosis, study gender differences in reported asthma-like symptoms vs DDA, and relate our findings to measurements of AHR, levels of exhaled nitric oxide (ENO) and total IgE. METHODS: As part of the health survey of North-Trondelag (HUNT), 8571 adolescents aged 13-19 years were investigated with an interview on allergic and respiratory symptoms (phase I study). Of these, 401 subjects who reported wheeze within the previous 12 months (current wheeze) and 213 non-symptomatic controls were randomly selected and investigated with allergy screening, methacholine bronchoprovocation test and measurements of ENO (phase II study). RESULTS: In the phase I study prevalence of current wheeze was 26% (30% in girls and 23% in boys, P < 0.01). Prevalence of DDA was 10.8% (10.5% in girls and 11% in boys). Among subjects with current wheeze, the likelihood of having DDA was reduced in girls compared to boys, odds ratio (95% CI) 0.82 (0.68-0.98) which was partly explained by a longer history of wheeze among boys. In the phase II study, although more girls than boys with current wheeze had AHR (62% versus 50%, P < 0.02) more boys than girls reported DDA (44% vs. 32%, P < 0.02). Of the objective parameters, increased levels of ENO most strongly increased the risk of having DDA. CONCLUSIONS: When asthma is defined as DDA, there is a risk of underestimating the prevalence of asthma, especially among girls. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Pneumology, Obstructive pulmonary disease, Respiratory disease, Epidemiology, Lung disease, Bronchus disease, Asthma, Sex, Diagnosis, Current, Prevalence, Comparative study
in
Respiratory Medicine
volume
97
issue
5
pages
491 - 497
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:12735665
  • scopus:0242417037
ISSN
1532-3064
DOI
10.1053/rmed.2002.1470
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
14b3050e-c5d8-4848-bc15-02a2767f269b (old id 1126575)
date added to LUP
2008-06-11 11:25:44
date last changed
2018-08-19 04:09:07
@article{14b3050e-c5d8-4848-bc15-02a2767f269b,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Asthma may be defined either as wheeze within the previous 12 months (current wheeze) doctor-diagnosed asthma (DDA), or current wheeze plus confirmed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). AIMS: We wanted to estimate asthma prevalence in randomly selected adolescents based on different criteria for asthma diagnosis, study gender differences in reported asthma-like symptoms vs DDA, and relate our findings to measurements of AHR, levels of exhaled nitric oxide (ENO) and total IgE. METHODS: As part of the health survey of North-Trondelag (HUNT), 8571 adolescents aged 13-19 years were investigated with an interview on allergic and respiratory symptoms (phase I study). Of these, 401 subjects who reported wheeze within the previous 12 months (current wheeze) and 213 non-symptomatic controls were randomly selected and investigated with allergy screening, methacholine bronchoprovocation test and measurements of ENO (phase II study). RESULTS: In the phase I study prevalence of current wheeze was 26% (30% in girls and 23% in boys, P &lt; 0.01). Prevalence of DDA was 10.8% (10.5% in girls and 11% in boys). Among subjects with current wheeze, the likelihood of having DDA was reduced in girls compared to boys, odds ratio (95% CI) 0.82 (0.68-0.98) which was partly explained by a longer history of wheeze among boys. In the phase II study, although more girls than boys with current wheeze had AHR (62% versus 50%, P &lt; 0.02) more boys than girls reported DDA (44% vs. 32%, P &lt; 0.02). Of the objective parameters, increased levels of ENO most strongly increased the risk of having DDA. CONCLUSIONS: When asthma is defined as DDA, there is a risk of underestimating the prevalence of asthma, especially among girls.},
  author       = {Henriksen, A H and Holmen, T L and Bjermer, Leif},
  issn         = {1532-3064},
  keyword      = {Pneumology,Obstructive pulmonary disease,Respiratory disease,Epidemiology,Lung disease,Bronchus disease,Asthma,Sex,Diagnosis,Current,Prevalence,Comparative study},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {491--497},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Respiratory Medicine},
  title        = {Gender differences in asthma prevalence may depend on how asthma is defined},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/rmed.2002.1470},
  volume       = {97},
  year         = {2003},
}