Demographic and Geographic Variations in Respiratory and Allergic Conditions Among Adolescents in the United Arab Emirates

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Book Chapter

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Global Perspectives on Health Geography

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The prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases among adolescents has been increasing worldwide. This study examines the prevalence and geographic distribution of respiratory and other allergic conditions among youths residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This cross-sectional study administered the ISAAC questionnaire to collect data on the respiratory and allergy profiles of 6363 adolescents aged between 13 and 20 attending grades 10–12 of randomly selected private and public schools in 9 educational zones in the UAE. Overall, the prevalence rates of self-reported wheeze ever, wheeze in the last 12 months, wheeze during or after exercise, and night cough were 15%, 11.6%, 15.7%, and 33.4%, respectively. A total of 12% of participants reported ever having asthma, and 6.0% had been hospitalized for asthma or any respiratory problem. The prevalence rates of rhinitis ever, rhinitis in the last 12 months, itchy rash in the past 6 months, and itchy rash in the past 12 months were 33.2%, 26%, 8.4%, and 7.4%, respectively. There were significant differences among expatriate and Emirati adolescents in prevalence of asthma and rash symptoms. Rates of asthma and other allergies varied significantly across the UAE’s nine educational zones.In conclusion, self-reported wheeze, asthma symptoms, and other allergy-related diseases are common among adolescents in the UAE. Geographic and demographic differences were found across the different UAE regions, as well as between the Emirati and expatriate populations.




Springer International Publishing

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Medicine and Health Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access