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Observational Study
. 2019 Jun;74(6):531-538.
doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-212668. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Combined Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Risk of Asthma, Rhinoconjunctivitis and Eczema in School Children: ISAAC Phase III

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Observational Study

Combined Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Risk of Asthma, Rhinoconjunctivitis and Eczema in School Children: ISAAC Phase III

Eva Morales et al. Thorax. .
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Abstract

Background: Asthma is not the key focus of prevention strategies. A Healthy Lifestyle Index (HLI) was developed to examine the combined effect of modifiable lifestyle factors on asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema using data from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) phase III.

Methods: Information on symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, eczema and several lifestyle factors was obtained from children aged 6-7 years through written questionnaires. The HLI combined five lifestyle factors: no parental smoking, child's adherence to Mediterranean diet, child's healthy body mass index, high physical activity and non-sedentary behaviour. The association between the HLI and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema was evaluated using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models.

Findings: Data of 70 795 children from 37 centres in 19 countries were analysed. Each additional healthy lifestyle factor was associated with a reduced risk of current wheeze (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.89), asthma ever (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.92), current symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92 to 0.97) and current symptoms of eczema (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.92 to 0.98). Theoretically, if associations were causal, a combination of four or five healthy lifestyle factors would result into a reduction up to 16% of asthma cases (ranging from 2.7% to 26.3 % according to region of the world).

Conclusions: These findings should be interpreted with caution given the limitations to infer causality from cross-sectional observational data. Efficacy of interventions to improve multiple modifiable lifestyle factors to reduce the burden asthma and allergy in childhood should be assessed.

Keywords: allergy; asthma; childhood; lifestyles; prevention.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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