Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Increasing asthma prevalence in a rural New Zealand adolescent population: 1975-89.
  1. R A Shaw,
  2. J Crane,
  3. T V O'Donnell,
  4. L E Porteous,
  5. E D Coleman
  1. Department of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, New Zealand.


    A survey of asthma symptoms and spirometry in 435 adolescent schoolchildren was undertaken in 1989 in a rural, largely Maori population. The survey questionnaires were identical to those used in a 1975 survey at the same school. The prevalence of reported asthma or wheeze significantly increased from 26.2% to 34.0%. This increase occurred in groups reporting asthma, and also those reporting wheeze unassociated with colds, but without a previous diagnosis of asthma. There was a tendency for a rise in reported wheeze in Europeans (24.3% to 27.4%) and a significant rise in Maoris (27.1% to 36.2%). The reclassification of other respiratory problems did not account for the increase. Data from this study provides evidence that there has been a rise in the prevalence of asthma in this New Zealand population over a time period of 14 years.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.