Prevalence of Children's Allergic Diseases in Ulsan: Local Differences and Environmental Risk Factors

울산지역 초등학생 알레르기 질환 유병률: 지역적 차이와 환경위험인자

Oh, In-Bo;Kim, Yangho;Sim, Chang Sun;Lee, Ji Ho

  • Received : 2012.10.08
  • Accepted : 2012.11.27
  • Published : 2012.12.31


Objectives: This study aims to investigate the AD (allergic diseases: asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis) prevalence among elementary schoolchildren in an industrial city, Ulsan, and identify major environmental risk factors associated with AD prevalence. Methods: Data on the physician-diagnosed prevalence over the past 12 months and potential risk factors of AD were collected through a questionnaire from a 2009-2010 survey of 4,067 schoolchildren living in different urban environments. The logistic regression analysis was performed to assess differences in AD prevalence among the areas and to determine which environmental factors impacted AD. Results: Our survey results showed that the AD prevalence rate ranged between 26.2% and 35.9%. Children living in polluted areas (near industrial and central urban areas) had about a 10% higher prevalence of AD than did those living in coastal or suburban residences. The Chi-Square test demonstrated that this local difference was statistically significant before and after adjustment of major confounders such as parental AD history and parental education. The results of the logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between several environmental factors (ventilation in winter, odor conditions and exposure to traffic smoke, and outdoor $PM_{10}/O_3$ pollution) and the prevalence of AD found by multivariate model after adjusting confounders. Conclusion: These results suggest that local differences in AD prevalence are significantly associated with outdoor environmental factors. Although there are likely to be other risk factors for AD, living in a polluted area and exposure to high levels of air pollutants can contribute to an increased risk of childhood AD.


allergic diseases;ulsan;environmental risk factors;air pollution;logistic regression analysis


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