Aim: To discuss trends based on data on all asthma-related admissions of children under 15 years of age.
Methods: retrospective analysis of records of the Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health in 1996-2004. The analysis was stratified for age.
Results: Out of the total of 23,715 such admissions, 66.8% involved boys. The number of all admissions for boys aged 0-under 3 years declined by 42.7% (relative to the child population) between 1996 and 2004, that for boys aged 3-under 5 years by 55.1% and that for boys aged 5-under 15 years by 59.0%, the figures for the corresponding age groups of girls being 53.0, 48.7 and 66.1%, respectively. The overall rate of first admissions for asthma among children (relative to population) declined by 36.8% during that period. CONCLUSIONS. The hospitalization of children for asthma has declined in Finland in recent times in all age and both sex groups. This favourable development coincides with the systematically programmed national shift into effective anti-inflammatory therapy in the paediatric age groups.