8,607 children in 66 centres
The most common atopical illnesses in infancy are, besides asthma, atopical dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. Studies of a multicentre nature have shown a significant rise in these ailments throughout the world and the causes of the increase are, as yet, not sufficiently clear.
Within this context, the aim of the PhD thesis was to evaluate the prevalence of allergic rhinitis and atopical dermatitis amongst the school population in the area around Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, using parameters as sex, language, date of birth and school. The data obtained was compared with a previous study undertaken in 1994 in the same geographical zone, and against those carried out at other centres at a national and international level as part of the third phase of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC).
In 2001 Ana Mara Irujo carried out a transversal epidemiological study - using questions from the ISAAC on two populations of children, a group between 6- and 7- year-olds and another between 12 and 14, both groups being drawn from 66 schools and colleges, mostly in the Pamplona-Irunea city area but also from centres in Baraain, Zizur Mayor, Zizur Menor, Atarrabia, Huarte, Burlada and Mutilva Baja.
The first signs of asthma
Rhinitis and atopical dermatitis are considered to be "the first signs of asthma". The expression "allergic triad" is used to refer to dermatitis followed by rhinitis and ending up with asthma. The rhinitis is characterised by an increase in nasal secretion, also normally associated with conjunctival factors of the eyes that significantly affect the quality of life, given that exercise and physical activity in general are affected.