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Urbanisation is associated with prevalence of childhood asthma in diverse, small rural communities in Ecuador

Rodriguez, A; Vaca, M; Oviedo, G; Erazo, S; Chico, ME; Teles, C; Barreto, ML; Rodrigues, LC; Cooper, PJ (2011) Urbanisation is associated with prevalence of childhood asthma in diverse, small rural communities in Ecuador. THORAX, 66 (12). 1043 - 1050. ISSN 0040-6376
SGUL Authors: Cooper, Philip John

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Background Studies conducted in transitional communities from Africa and Asia have pointed to the process of urbanisation as being responsible for the increase in asthma prevalence in developing regions. In Latin America, there are few published data available on the potential impact of urbanisation on asthma prevalence. The aim of the present study was to explore how the process of urbanisation may explain differences in asthma prevalence in transitional communities in north-eastern Ecuador. Methodology/principal findings An ecological study was conducted in 59 communities in Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador. Indicators of urbanisation were grouped into three indices representing the processes associated with urbanisation: socioeconomic, lifestyle and urban infrastructure. Categorical principal components analysis was used to generate scores for each index and a fourth index—a summary urbanisation index—was derived from the most representative variables in each of the three indices. The authors analysed the associations between community asthma prevalence and the indices, as well as with each indicator variable of every group. The overall prevalence of asthma was 10.1% (range 0–31.4% between communities). Three of the four indices presented significant associations with community asthma prevalence: socioeconomic (r=0.295, p=0.023), lifestyle (r=0.342, p=0.008) and summary urbanisation index (r=0.355, p=0.006). Variables reflecting better socioeconomic status and a more urban lifestyle were associated with greater asthma prevalence. Conclusions These data provide evidence that the prevalence of asthma increases with increasing levels of urbanisation in transitional communities, and factors associated with greater socioeconomic level and changes towards a more urban lifestyle may be particularly important.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license
Keywords: Adolescent, Asthma, Child, Developing Countries, Ecuador, Female, Humans, Life Style, Male, Prevalence, Principal Component Analysis, Questionnaires, Rural Population, Socioeconomic Factors, Urbanization, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Respiratory System, RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, EXERCISE-INDUCED BRONCHOSPASM, ALLERGIC RHINOCONJUNCTIVITIS, PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, SAUDI-ARABIA, URBAN, ATOPY, CHILDREN, WORLDWIDE, SYMPTOMS, ISAAC, Respiratory System, 1103 Clinical Sciences
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Infection and Immunity Research Institute (INII)
Journal or Publication Title: THORAX
ISSN: 0040-6376
Related URLs:
1 December 2011Published
Web of Science ID: WOS:000297259200008
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