Objective: The prevalence of allergic disease in children has been increasing in the recent years. There is no previous study on the prevalence of allergic disease in Malatya, Turkey. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of allergic disease and related risk factors among children aged 6-7 years in Malatya.
Materials and Methods: We administered the questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) translated into the Turkish language to 480 children aged 6-7 years living in Malatya. The questionnaires were completed by the parents for 413 (86%) of the children.
Results: There were 210 (50.8%) males and the overall mean age was 6.6±0.49 years. The lifetime prevalence of wheezing, rhinitis and eczema was 20.3%, 37% and 7.5% respectively and the reported prevalence for the last 12 months was 12.3%, 32% and 6.5% respectively. When the risk factors associated with allergic disease were analyzed; male gender (p=0.001), history of parental asthma (p=0.002), doctor`s diagnosis of allergic rhinitis (p=0.025) and having cockroaches at the home (p=0.002) were associated with asthma. A history of doctor`s diagnosis of asthma (p<0.001) and atopic eczema (p=0.001) were associated with rhinitis as risk factors. History of parental atopic eczema (p<0.001) and doctor`s diagnosis of asthma (p=0.006) were associated with atopic eczema as risk factors.
Conclusion: This study is the first to investigate the prevalence of allergic disease in the 6-7 years age group in Malatya using the ISAAC questionnaire. The current study shows the prevalence of allergic diseases is considerable in children living in Malatya.