Background: We investigated the net changes in prevalence of symptoms of asthma and rhinitis over 10 years in a cohort of young by baseline sensitization status. Methods: One thousand one hundred ninety three Chilean adults subjects aged 22-28 living in a semi-rural area of central Chile answered a lifestyle and the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaires. Bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) and skin prick test (SPT) to eight allergens were measured at baseline in 2001. Ten years later, 772 participants completed the questionnaires again. Estimates of adjusted net changes in prevalence of symptoms by sensitization status at baseline and association between sensitization status at baseline and respiratory symptoms ten years later were assessed. Results: A quarter of the participants were sensitized to at least one allergen in 2001. Prevalence of wheeze had a net change per year of -0.37 % (95 % Confidence Interval -0.71 to 0.02 %; p = 0.067). Self-reported nasal allergies in the last 12 months increased by 0.83 % per year (95 % CI 0.49 to 1.17 %; p < 0.001). Those sensitized to either cat fur (OR 1.76; CI 1.01 to 3.05), cockroach, (OR 2.09; 1.13 to 3.86) blend of grass and pollens (1.78; 95 % CI 1.08 to 2.92), or weeds (OR 1.77; 95 % CI 1.01 to 3.12) in 2001 were more likely to have wheeze in the last 12 months 10 years later. Conclusion: Symptoms of asthma remained stable or slightly changed over 10 years in adults, whilst rhinitis and nasal allergies greatly increased. Being sensitized to at least one allergen is a risk factor for persistent symptoms of asthma and rhinitis, but not for determining net changes of symptoms over time. The underlying causes for the contrasting trends between asthma and nasal allergy are unknown.
- Asthma symptoms
- South America
- Young adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine