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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. © 2006 General Practice Airways Group. All rights reserved.

Original publication

DOI

10.3132/pcrj.2007.00006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Primary Care Respiratory Journal

Publication Date

01/02/2007

Volume

16

Pages

28 - 35