Chapter

Secular trend in asthma

Peter J. G. Burley, Roberto J. Rona and Susan Chinn

in The National Study of Health and Growth

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780192629197
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723612 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192629197.003.0011
Secular trend in asthma

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Although there were reports of an increase in prevalence of wheezing and asthma prior to the NSHG 1990 paper, these were hard to interpret. The NSHG was the first study to report trends in children using comparable data over several years in the same schools. Substantial trends in the prevalence of asthma and persistent wheeze were found from 1973 to 1986, and in asthma and occasional wheezing from 1982 to 1992. Diagnostic shift from bronchitis to asthma could not explain the findings. Subsequent studies supported the findings, and provided evidence that the increase in asthma was real rather than due to increased awareness. There have been numerous hypotheses to explain the increase, but evidence for any of these is lacking.

Keywords: asthma; comparable data; hypotheses; trend; wheeze

Chapter.  2087 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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