Researcher : DR. IBRAHIM ALZEER
National Guard Program – Riyadh 2012/2013
Asthma and allergies has become the most common chronic disease among children. Little information is available about the prevalence of these diseases in Saudi Arabia especially among adolescents and in rural areas, so our aim to describe the Prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema symptoms in rural and urban areas from Riyadh region – Saudi Arabia and to make comparisons between them.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in intermediate and secondary schools in the Riyadh region. The Arabic version of International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC) questionnaire tool was implemented to 568 students in rural area and 556 students in urban area. Lifetime , 12 months and severity prevalence were determined for asthma, rhinitis and eczema symptoms.
The mean age of participants was 16.5 years. The prevalence of life time wheeze, wheezing during the past 12 months and Physician-diagnosed asthma was 19.2%, 10.3% and 23.1% respectively. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of lifetime wheeze between rural (19%) and urban (19.4%) (Chi sq.= 0.03, p= 0.86). The prevalence of iv rhinitis symptoms in the past 12 months among students was 28.1%. These symptoms were more prevalence in urban 30.2% than in rural 26.1% ( Chi sq. =2.405 p value 0.127). Rhinitis symptoms were strongly linked with lifetime wheeze (OR = 2.94, p < .001), physician-diagnosed asthma (OR = 2.73, p < .001), and exercise-induced wheeze (OR = 3.55, p < .001).
The prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in Saudi Arabia are high although it is within the reported prevalence ranges from many countries. Asthma, rhinitis and eczema symptoms are similar prevalence between rural and urban areas. Asthma and asthma related symptoms are also associated with a high rate of rhinitis symptoms and eczema. wider researches with more sample size is recommended.