Department of Anesthesiology, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University M.C., TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: This study is a part of the third phase of "International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood" (ISAAC) which was aimed to study the prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms among children and to compare the result with those of the first phase in Rasht city. Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was performed on 0-7 and 13-14 years old students of Rasht city during 2001- 2002. After performing statistical analysis, prevalence of asthma symptoms was evaluated in both sexes and the two age groups by using chi-square test. Results: A total of 6074 students participated in this study. History of wheezing during their life-time and history of recent wheezing were present in 23.3% and 15.4% of students, respectively. Prevalence of this symptom in both situations was significantly higher in male students compared to females. Three hundred forty-nine students (5.7%) were known cases of asthma. Number of asthmatic cases among 6-7 years old students was 1.5 times higher than the other group. Also, prevalence of asthma in boys was 1.6 times higher than girls. Over all, 522 students (8.6%) mentioned a history of wheezing during or after exercise in the past 12 months. This was 3 times higher among 13-14 years old students and 1.9 times higher in boys. Eight hundred thirty-five (13.7%) students had a history of dry cough during the last 12 months and its prevalence was higher in students in the 13-14 years old group and in boys as well. Conclusion: Compared to the results of phase I of this study, the prevalence of known cases of asthma has considerably increased in both age groups. Prevalence of asthma was higher in 6-7 years old boys. There is a wide range of risk factors for development of asthma and its exacerbation in children which requires further investigations to find factors responsible for increased prevalence of this disease in Rasht city. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(1): 40-49)