Volume 31, Number 1 (1-2017)                   Med J Islam Repub Iran 2017 | Back to browse issues page
Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. , masoud.mohammadi1989@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (884 Views)

Background: The prevalence of asthma and allergy has increased during the last decades, especially in children. However, little is
known about it in the Middle East region. This systematic review is aimed to estimate the prevalence of asthma among the Middle
Eastern children.
Methods: Local and international scientific databases including SID, Iranmedex, Medline and Science Direct were systematically
searched for relevant keywords including; asthma, prevalence, children, International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood
(ISACC) and the names of Middle Eastern countries for the period of 1996-2011. Papers in Persian and English which met the defined
criteria were included into the study. Bibliographies of the extracted articles were also searched. After extraction of data, heterogeneity
between studies and publication bias were measured using Egger's-test. Effect size was pooled by the random-effect model. Since significant
heterogeneity was found between studies, univariate meta-regression analyses were done to assess the association of variables
with the overall results.
Results: Fifty studies in the Middle East examined the prevalence of asthma and allergy in children under the age of 18 years according
to the ISAAC criteria and were included. A total number of 289,717 children were examined in the included studies and the prevalence
varied from 0.7 % in Isfahan to 22.3 % in Bagdad. The total prevalence of diagnosed asthma was calculated 7.53 % (95% Cl:
6.38-8.75). Prevalence of asthma in the 13-14 years age group was 7.57% (95% Cl: 5.78-9.29) and in 6-7 years age group was 7.43%
(95% Cl: 5.75-9.10). The prevalence of asthma among girls, based on random effect model, was 6.30% (95% Cl: 4.97-7.61) and
among boys, it was 8.91% (95% Cl: 6.80-11.04).
Conclusion: The prevalence of asthma in the Middle East is lower than most developed countries. However, there is not enough
longitudinal data to estimate the trend over time. In order to have more accurate estimates and to provide evidence for proper planning,
standard epidemiologic studies should be conducted in countries of the region.

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Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Pediatric