Prevalence of Self-Reported Asthma in Urban and Rural Areas of Turkey

J Asthma. 2012 Jun;49(5):522-6. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2012.677893. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Abstract

Background and purpose: The risk factors for asthma in rural and urban population of Turkey are not well known. In this study we examined the effects of risk factors on the prevalence of asthma in adults living in rural and urban areas using data from a representative sample.

Methods: Parents and grandparents of students from 20 randomly selected primary schools in urban and rural areas of Kirikkale, Turkey, were asked about respiratory diseases using the respiratory questionnaire, which were returned to us by their children.

Results: Out of 13,225 parents and grandparents of primary school students 12,270 returned the questionnaires, for an overall response rate of 92.7%. The prevalence of asthma was more common in adults living in rural areas than in urban areas (10.8% vs. 6.2%, p < .0001, respectively). Asthma was more prevalent in women exposed to biomass smoke than those who were not exposed to it in rural areas (14.8% vs. 6.6%, p = .0001, respectively). Frequent childhood respiratory infections were more common in adults living in rural areas than in urban areas (18.2% vs. 10.9%, p < .0001, respectively). Exposure to biomass smoke and frequent childhood respiratory infections were associated with an increased risk of asthma, after adjusting for possible confounding factors in the logistic model for rural subjects. Chronic rhinitis (p = .0001) and frequent childhood respiratory infections (p = .0001) were associated with an increased risk of asthma, after adjusting for possible confounding factors in the logistic model for urban subjects.

Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma in adults living in the rural areas of the Kirikkale Region in Central Turkey was significantly higher than that in the urban population. Exposure to biomass smoke and childhood respiratory infections were more common in adults living in rural areas. The higher rate of asthma in adults living in rural areas may be due to a higher frequency of childhood respiratory infections and exposure to biomass smoke.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Biomass
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoke / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data

Substances

  • Smoke