Prevalence of symptoms, severity and diagnosis of asthma in adolescents in the Province of Salamanca, Spain: Global Asthma Network (GAN) Phase I

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Ana Marín-Cassinello
María Concepción Vega-Hernández
Blanca Lumbreras-Lacarra
Sonia De Arriba-Méndez
J. Pellegrini-Belinchón


adolescents, asthma, GAN, ISAAC, prevalence


Introduction and objectives: Asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease in childhood. However, the latest data on its prevalence in Spain are from Phase III of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), 2004. The objective of our study was to assess the prevalence of asthma symptoms, severity and diagnosis in the paediatric population aged between 13 and 14 years in the province of Salamanca.

Material and methods: Cross-sectional multicentre study carried out in 2017–2018 in 13- and 14-year-old school children in the province of Salamanca as a centre participating in of the Global Asthma Network(GAN) Phase I. The standardised validated written questionnaire and that directed by a video was administered; it was self-completed by the pupils.

Results: A total of 3485 questionnaires were completed, and the pupils’ participation rate was 95.01%. Among the total, 25.7% indicated having had wheeze ever (20.7% in the video questionnaire); 14.7% indicated having had wheeze in the past 12 months (11.3% in the video questionnaire). The prevalence of current wheeze that limited speech was 3.9% (7.5% in the video questionnaire) and the current prevalence of severe wheeze was 6.5%. Regarding asthma diagnosis, 19.7% of the sample answered that they had had asthma ever, whilst 14.0% referred to having physician-diagnosed asthma. The agreement between the written questionnaire and that directed by video was acceptable for the questions of wheeze ever (Cohen Kappa index [k] = 0.53) and current wheeze (k = 0.42).

Conclusions: The prevalence of current asthma (wheeze in the past 12 months) in the population aged 13 and 14 years in the province of Salamanca is higher compared with that presented in 2004 in Spain, but similar to that described at the world level (low-moderate level), according to the ISAAC Phase III studies.

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