KUMJ | VOL. 5 | NO. 4 | ISSUE 20 | OCT-DEC, 2007

Asthma symptomatics school children of Sonapur
Pokharel PK, Pokharel P, Bhatta NK, Pandey RM, Erkki K

Background: Bronchial asthma is one of the most common illnesses in children. Factors influencing
development of asthma have not been studied in rural population.
Materials and methods: Two thousand school-going children from three schools of Sonapur VDC, Sunsari in
the surrounding of industries were screened for the presence of symptoms of asthma using a questionnaire
suggested by International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Children (ISSAC).
Results: One hundred twenty children were identified with symptoms of bronchial asthma. For each child with
asthma two age and sex matched non-asthmatic control were selected from the study population. History,
clinical examination and in-depth interview were carried out for all cases and controls. Factors associated with
presence of symptoms of asthma on multivariate analysis were: passive smoking (OR 3.33, 95% CI 1.85-7.65),
pets at home (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.04-29.15), and absence of windows in living rooms (OR 4.03, 95% CI 1.17-
13.79). Factors such as family history of asthma, history of worm infestation, fuel used for cooking, location of
kitchen and food allergy were not significant in statistical analysis.
Conclusion: Thus, passive smoking, inadequate ventilation and domestic animals and pets (dogs and cats) at
home are significant risk factors associated with presence of symptoms of asthma in these children.

Keyword : asthma; risk factors; passive smoking; domestic animals and pets; cross ventilation; childhood asthma