Keywords: school children, respiratory symptoms, asthma, parent smoking, smoking habits, child health, elementary schools, Hungary, bronchitic symptoms, environmental health, allergic symptoms
Respiratory symptoms of school children and their home environment in Northern Transdanubia, Hungary
This cross-sectional study covering all children visiting third grade classes with more than ten children in any elementary school of Hungary used parent-completed questionnaires on the children's present and past health condition, the parents' respiratory health and smoking habits, the home environment and the families' socio-economic status. Around 6670 children from the Northern-Transdanubian region were included in the present analysis using multiple logistic regression. The prevalence of children with bronchitic and asthmatic symptoms was 14.7% and 16.6%, respectively. The prevalence of asthma ever diagnosed by a physician was 7.2% and that of a doctor-diagnosed allergy was 21.3%. Heating with coal or wood, industrial emissions in the neighbourhood, outdoor and indoor use of pesticides, air conditioners, new wallpaper or plastic floor cover and carpets in the child's room and mould growth were found to be the strongest determinants of respiratory or allergic symptoms of the children in the home.