Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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




Journal article


Prim Care Respir J

Publication Date





28 - 35


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