Domestic risk factors for wheeze in urban and rural Ethiopian children

D. Dagoye, Z. Bekele, K. Woldemichael, H. Nida, M. Yimam, A. J. Venn, A. Hall, J. R. Britton, S. A. Lewis, T. Mckeever, Richard Hubbard

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To identify which environmental exposures underpin the emergence of asthma epidemics, we need to study epidemics as they appear, as is now happening in the Jimma region of Ethiopia. We have previously studied risk factors for asthma in adults in Jimma and have now completed a survey of young children. Aim: To establish the prevalence of asthma in urban and rural children in Jimma, and to identify locally important risk factors. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Methods: All children aged 1-5 years living in Jimma town and three surrounding rural regions were identified. Data were collected using an interviewer-led questionnaire, and consenting children had skin prick tests to house dust mite and cockroach. Results: We surveyed 7155 children, of whom 3623 (51%) were female and 4285 (60%) lived in the urban area. The prevalence of wheeze in the last year was 3.4%, and was lower in the rural area (OR 0.47; 95%CI 0.34-0.66). In the urban area, the main risk factors for wheeze were a longer duration of breastfeeding, use of kerosene, and environmental tobacco smoke, while living with animals was protective. In rural chidren, the main risk factors were a positive skin prick test and living with animals. Discussion: The prevalence of wheeze in children in the Jimma region is low, particularly in rural children. In addition to having an impact on disease prevalence, place of residence also appears to modify the impact of environmental risk factors for wheeze.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalQJM - Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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