Background: Asthma is a common chronic disease in adolescents, and has led to a significant morbidity and disability. Few studies have estimated the prevalence of asthma in the Northern Borders Region of Saudi Arabia. Only limited data has been available about prevalence of asthma in adolescents' age.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of asthma and associated symptoms in 16 to 18-year-old adolescents, and to assess the level of asthma control among students with physician-diagnosed asthma, in the Northern Borders Region of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 511 male 16 to 18-year-old students in the Northern Borders Region of Saudi Arabia during the academic year 2017-2018. An International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC) questionnaire and Asthma Control Test (ACT) were used as the measurement tool. The data were analyzed by SPSS version 20, using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test. A p-value of 0.05 or less was considered, statistically significant.
Results: Among the 511 students, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma was 11.4%. The prevalence of lifetime wheeze, and exercise-induced wheeze were 30.3% and 19% respectively. The prevalence of night cough and wheezing attack in the past 12 months were 17% and 16.8% respectively. A total of 51.8% of asthmatic students have poor asthma control.
Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma and associated symptoms in 16 to18-year-old students is high in the Northern Borders Region. Uncontrolled asthma was observed in half of asthmatic students.
Keywords: Asthma; Control; Prevalence; Saudi Arabia.