Volume 16 Issue 1 February 2007
Gender-specific presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in primary care
*Mustafa Osmana, Anna L Hansellb, Colin R Simpsona, Jennifer Hollowellc, Peter J Helmsa
a Department of Child Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZG, UK
b Public Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
c General Practice Research Database, Office for National Statistics, 1 Drummond Gate, London SW1V 2QQ, UK
Received 2 May 2006 • Accepted 3 November 2006 • Online 10 February 2007
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.
Cite as: Osman M, Hansell AL, Simpson CR, Hollowell J, Helms PJ. Gender-specific presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in primary care. Prim Care Respir J 2007;16(1):28-35. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3132/pcrj.2007.00006
Asthma; Eczema; Allergic rhinitis; Sex; Gender; Epidemiology
* Corresponding author. Dr Mustafa Osman Tel: +44(0)1224 635151; Fax: +44(0) 1224 272041 Email: email@example.com