Regional variations in risk factors for asthma in school children: METHODS (1)

This was a cross-sectional population-based study of school children. The method of data collection has been previously described. Briefly, questionnaires were distributed to parents of all children attending grades 1 to 6 in Estevan and Swift Current schools. Pulmonary function testing was completed in children attending grades 1 to 4 and has been reported elsewhere. Ethical approval was obtained from the Advisory Committee on Ethics in Biomedical Research at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Local school and health boards in each community also approved the study. The present analysis is based on questionnaire data only.
Questionnaires
A standardized method was used to collect data by questionnaire from both communities during the same time periods. In January 2000, questionnaires were distributed through the schools. Questions were derived from the American Thoracic Society’s Children’s Respiratory Disease Questionnaire and the Canadian Student Lung Health Study. buy flovent inhaler
The questionnaires sought information regarding demographics, respiratory health, general health, family history of asthma and indoor exposures. ‘Asthma’ was defined by a positive response to the question, “Has this child ever been diagnosed as having asthma by a doctor?”. ‘Respiratory allergy’ was assessed by at least one positive response to the question, “Has this child ever had an allergy (hives, runny nose, swelling, itchiness and/or wheezing) to any of the following: house dust; grain dust; pollen; trees; grasses; mould or mildew; dog; cat; and/or birds/feathers?”. The child’s exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was based on the mother’s and father’s smoking histories, and was categorized as never exposed (absence of smoking during the subject’s life), previously exposed (had smoked, but quit smoking since the subject’s birth) and currently exposed (currently smoking). The presence of mould or dampness in the home was assessed by a positive response to either the question,

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