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AIM: To identify age- and gender-specific prevalence rates for physician-diagnosed asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR) and eczema across a whole lifespan. METHOD: Presentations of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were identified in individuals aged 0 to 65 who consulted their general practitioner at least once in 1998-99 from a population sample of 266,733 in Scotland, and in 1991-95 for asthma and allergic rhinitis in 6,836,063 person years at risk in England and Wales. RESULTS: In both sexes asthma presentations peak at 4-6 years whilst eczema peaks in infancy. A second asthma peak occurs during adolescence, earlier in females, at a time when a female predominance for all three atopic diseases is established. Female predominance of eczema presentations are limited to the reproductive period of 15-49 years. CONCLUSION: The patterns of presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema by age and gender suggest important gender-specific differences in disease predisposition and diagnosis.

Original publication

DOI

10.3132/pcrj.2007.00006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Prim Care Respir J

Publication Date

02/2007

Volume

16

Pages

28 - 35

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Asthma, Child, Child, Preschool, Eczema, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial, Scotland, Sex Factors