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

Insights from Xhosa children into environmental risk factors for the development of asthma
Chapter:
Insights from Xhosa children into environmental risk factors for the development of asthma
Author(s):

Peter Burney

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199651559.003.0050
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date: 16 November 2019

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%.

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