Prevalence and risk factors for allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema among schoolchildren in Israel: Results from a national study

Yael Graif, Ben Zion Garty, Irit Livne, Manfred S. Green, Tamy Shohat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is growing evidence that the prevalence rates of asthma and allergic diseases are increasing, especially among children. Several risk factors are under investigation. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis (AR) and atopic eczema (AE), among 13- to 14-year-old schoolchildren in Israel. Methods: A modified version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood written questionnaire was administered to a national sample of schoolchildren 13 to 14 years old in Israel. The questionnaire was completed by the schoolchildren themselves. Results: There were 10,057 complete questionnaires available for analysis. The prevalence of AR symptoms ever and current AR were 41.6% and 9.4%, respectively. Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms ever were reported by 15.8% of the children. The prevalence rates of 6 months of itchy rash ever and AE were 5.9% and 7.8%, respectively. After adjustment for demographic and environmental factors, current asthma, parental history of asthma, and population group were the most significant risk factors for current AR (odds ratio [OR], 4.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.70-5.40; OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.02-1.66; and OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.45-2.13; respectively) and AE (OR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.80-2.90; OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.40-2.30; and OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.40-2.00; respectively). Conclusions: Israeli children have a low prevalence rate of current AR and a midrange rate of AE. Arabs have lower prevalence rates of allergic diseases than Jews, and the prominent risk factors for those diseases are current asthma and parental history of asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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