Prevalences of symptoms of asthma and other allergic diseases in korean children: a nationwide questionnaire survey

J Korean Med Sci. 2001 Apr;16(2):155-64. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2001.16.2.155.


The purpose of this study was to estimate the national prevalence of childhood asthma and other allergic diseases in Korea, and to determine potential risk factors for the diseases. Stratified random samples of 42,886 were selected from 34 elementary (6-12 yr olds) and 34 middle schools (12-15 yr olds) nationwide, and 38,955 were in the final analysis. The Korean-translated modified version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire was used in this cross-sectional survey. Twelve-month prevalences of the symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and flexural eczema were 8.7%, 10.5%, 7.3% in 6-12 yr olds, and 8.2%, 10.0%, 3.9% in 12-15 yr olds, respectively. For allergic conjunctivitis, food allergy, and drug allergy, the prevalences in 6-12 yr olds were 11.2%, 6.5%, and 1.5%, respectively. Asthma and flexural eczema decreased significantly with age. Other significant risk factors were also noted. For 6-12 yr-old asthma, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of body mass index was 1.21 with 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-1.48, aOR of passive smoking was 1.37 with 95%CI 1.24-1.51, aOR of carpet use was 1.28 with 95%CI 1.10-1.49. For 6-12 yr-old eczema, aOR of affluence was 1.22 with 95%CI 1.07-1.39. The control of obesity and passive smoking would be the most important preventive measures of allergic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / epidemiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Eczema / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires