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in last decade

The advance of asthma in children and adolescents

daniel buenoIn the last decade, the prevalence of asthma in Brazil grew among children aged 0 to 9 and also among adolescents aged 10 to 19, above all in boys and in people living in rural areas (Revista de Saúde Pública [Public Health Journal] , April 2012). The conclusion is taken from work by researchers from the Medical School of the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel), in Rio Grande do Sul, who analyzed data about the disease produced in three different years by the National Survey by Household Sampling (Pnad). In 1998, the prevalence of asthma among Brazilian children was 7.7%; in 2003, it had reached 8.1%; and by 2008, it stood at 8.5%. The annual growth rate was of the order of 1%. The biggest annual increase occurred in the Southeast and North regions (1.4%). Prevalence of the disease among adolescents was 4.4% in 1998, 5% in 2003 and 5.5% in 2008. 
The annual increase was 2.2%. The figure was even higher in the Northeast (3.5%). The study’s authors have put forward some hypotheses for explaining the advance of asthma, such as expansion of the basic care services, the increase in the number of family health teams and greater exposure to pesticides and agrochemicals in rural areas.