Objective The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the prevalence of asthma and its symptoms in children aged 6–7 years and 13–14 years in an urban (Amman city) area and among Bedouin in northern Jordan.
Method This study is part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC)-Phase III.
Results The number of students included in both studied groups was 9108. The response rate was 84% for urban compare to 68% among Bedouin children. There was no statistical significance in prevalence of asthma diagnosed by a physician between Amman city group and Bedouins (8.8% versus 9.5%). Wheeze and night cough induced by exercise was significantly common in school children age 13–14 compared to primary school children (18.5% and 25.3% versus 11.1% and 22.6%) p <0.001. Wheezing ever and sleep disturbances were significantly more common in males 27.5%, P = 0.01 and 12.2%, P = 0.001 respectively. Primary school children aged 6–7 had significant wheezing ever (27.2%), compared to older children 25.1%, P = 0.05. Bedouin children had significant exercise induced wheeze 16.4% compared to Amman city 13.1%, P = 0.001, but the later had significant prevalence of night cough 25% compared to Bedouins group 22.6%, P = 0.01.
Conclusion This study shows that asthma is moderately common in Jordan. No difference in prevalence of asthma diagnosed by physician between urbanized region and Bedouins having low socioeconomic status. Asthma was common in males which is similar to other report elsewhere. There is two-fold increase in the prevalence of asthma in Jordan last decade