JOURNAL OF ASTHMA, vol.40, no.5, pp.551-556, 2003 (SCI-Expanded)
Background. In our clinical experience, asthma is an important health problem in our region, but we did not know its prevalence. Objective. The main objective of our study was to assess the prevalence of asthma in Sivas, a city in Central Anatolia. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed using a screening questionnaire adopted from European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). A total of 5448 adults of both genders between 20 and 107 yr of age living in Sivas, a city in the central region of Anatolia in Turkey, participated in the survey. Of the cohort, 2691 were men (49.4%) and 2757 (50.6%) were women. Results. The mean age was 38.2 yr (SD = 12.7 yr), almost half of the study population was at or younger than 40 yr of age. The prevalence of wheezing in the last 12 months, diagnosis of asthma, asthma attack in the last 12 months, and use of asthma medicine were 20.9%, 4.5%, 4.9%, and 3.4%, respectively. Awakening with chest tightness, with shortness of breath, or with cough were reported as 14.2%, 14.8%, and 22.7%, respectively. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms related to asthma was statistically higher in women than that of men (p = 0.000, OR 1.346, 95% CI: 1.228-1.475). Those who had asthma/allergic symptoms in their family members were significantly younger than others (p: 0.001). Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrate that symptoms suggestive of asthma are quite common and constitute a major health problem in Sivas, Turkey. This study also showed that, despite a high rate of reported symptoms exists, the rate of diagnosis and treatment of asthma is low among the adult population in Sivas.