Background: Many epidemiological studies have assessed the prevalence of respiratory allergic disorders in confined geographical locations. However, no study has yet established nationally prevalence data in a uniform manner representing whole countries and, thus, enabling cross-national comparisons.
Methods: In 10 European countries, screening of random, representative samples of telephone numbers identified the target population aged 16-60. The inclusion criteria were a positive reporting of respiratory allergy to named allergens and, concomitantly, an unassisted description of appropriate symptoms. To obtain a truly representative, national prevalence of each country, the data were weighted against the actual sex and age composition.
Results: 31,065 screening interviews were performed. The nationally balanced prevalence varied significantly among the 10 countries (P
Conclusions: Respiratory allergic disorders constitute a huge health problem in Europe, and the impact may be increasing as the prevalence is highest among young people. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- allergic rhinitis
- INCREASING PREVALENCE
- HEALTH SURVEY