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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


BACKER, Claudia et al. The effects of a rural environment on the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among schoolchildren in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.5, pp.431-437. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of allergic rhinitis symptoms among schoolchildren in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, and determine what impact a rural environment might have on this condition. METHODS: A population-based, cross-sectional study using a standardized questionnaire administered to a random sample of 2 087 schoolchildren 6-7 years of age (1 078 girls and 1 009 boys) living in the city of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. The study analyzed associations between exposure variables and personal and family health history, and two dependent variables-nasal symptoms and nasal and ocular symptoms, in the absence of a cold or flu-using odd ratios (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (95%CI). The study took place in February-July 2004 and followed the methodology of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). RESULTS: The general prevalence of nasal symptoms and nasal and ocular symptoms was 25.0% and 10.5%, respectively. The boys and girls who had ever lived on a farm or in a rural area had a lower probability, adjusted for confounding variables, of presenting nasal symptoms (OR = 0.43; 95%CI: 0.24-0.77), or nasal and ocular symptoms (OR = 0.39; 95%CI: 0.16-0.93). CONCLUSIONS: In the study population, exposure to a rural environment in early childhood decreased the risk of developing allergic rhinitis, regardless of a family history of asthma.

Keywords : Asthma; rhinitis,allergic, seasonal; rhinitis, allergic, perennial; child; environment and public health; Mexico.

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