Chapter

Insights from Xhosa children into environmental risk factors for the development of asthma

Peter Burney

in Landmark Papers in Allergy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199651559
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754241 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199651559.003.0050

Series: Landmark Papers

Insights from Xhosa children into environmental risk factors for the development of asthma

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Several studies have been undertaken to determine the prevalence of asthma in childhood, and a wide variety has been reported in different population groups. . . . In African and other non-industrialised countries, childhood asthma appears to be rare, with a reported prevalence varying between 0.007 and 1.96%. Analysis of these reports suggests that asthma is rare in rural communities at all ages. However, in urbanised areas, asthma is said to be common. . . . In order to ascertain whether asthma was as rare a disorder in the black children of our city as we suspected from our clinical experience, a study of urban and rural Xhosa children was undertaken to determine the prevalence of asthma in these two groups. . . . One thousand three hundred and seventy five children were studied, 694 from a Cape Town African township and 671 from a rural area in Transkei. . . . The exercise challenge test was selected as the most reliable single test for identifying children with asthma. . . . A diagnosis of asthma was made in twenty-two of the urban children (Guguletu) and in one child from the rural area (Transkei). The prevalence among Guguletu children was 3.17% and for children from the Tsolo district, 0.14%.

Chapter.  1594 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Immunology ; Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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