Adolescent asthma in Northern Taiwan

J. H. Wu, R. S. Lin, K. H. Hsieh, W. T. Chiu, L. M. Chen, S. T. Chiou, K. C. Huang, W. L. Liu, H. I. Chiu, H. C. Hsiao, S. H. Fang, H. W. Chen, J. M. Lin, F. C. Sung

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Abstract

An asthma mass screening study was conducted among all middle school students in Taiwan in 1995-1996. The screening activities were performed simultaneously in six regions: North-1, North-2, Center, South, KauPin and East regions. Investigators also selected 20 percent of the students undergo lung function tests. Data collected for asthma screening in North-1 region, including Taipei metropolitan, Taipei County, Keelung City and Ilan County, were utilized for this report. With the assistance of the local Educational Bureau, school administrations, and teachers, the trained study teams distributed the adapted Chinese version of New England Core questionnaires to students for completion by their parents. Students themselves responded to a Chinese version of the video questionnaire developed by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children. The current study attempts to investigate which of the factors, such as age, gender, parental education, passive smoking, exercise, burning of Chinese incense, and air pollution have significant associations with children's asthma. A total of 158,330 boys and 154,760 girls were included in the analyses. For the whole North-1 region, the asthma prevalence was 10.2%, higher in boys (11.6%) than in girls (8.2%), and the suspected asthma prevalence was 19.3%. Among the four subareas in North-I region, the highest prevalence rate (13.0%) was in metropolitan Taipei and the lowest (5.9%) was in Ilan. Results of multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that factors significantly associated with asthma included living in areas with heavy air pollution, being a boy, higher parental education and being younger. No consistent patterns were observed for passive smoking unless more than 60 cigarettes were smoked daily by household members. Students who lived in areas of parents-reported heavy air pollution were 1.8 times more likely (95% confidence interval 1.73-1.95) to have a history of asthma than students who lived in area with no pollution. This study showed a detrimental relationship between asthma and parent- reported air pollution level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-225
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Journal of Public Health
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Airpollution
  • Asthma
  • Junior high school
  • Northern Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Wu, J. H., Lin, R. S., Hsieh, K. H., Chiu, W. T., Chen, L. M., Chiou, S. T., Huang, K. C., Liu, W. L., Chiu, H. I., Hsiao, H. C., Fang, S. H., Chen, H. W., Lin, J. M., & Sung, F. C. (1998). Adolescent asthma in Northern Taiwan. Chinese Journal of Public Health, 17(3), 214-225.