Sensitization to inhaled allergens in asthmatic children in southern Jordan: a cross-sectional study
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Sensitization to inhaled allergens in children with bronchial asthma significantly affects asthma pathogenesis, severity and persistence into late childhood and adulthood. The present study determined the prevalence of sensitization to inhaled allergens in children with bronchial asthma and wheezing episodes in order to investigate the effect of positive sensitization on the severity and control of asthma symptoms and to screen for other associated allergic conditions. Methods: A
... s: A cross-sectional study was conducted, including children between 6 months and 14 years of age attending the chest clinic of Al-Karak, south of Jordan, between November 2013 and February 2016. Skin prick tests (SPTs) using 11 standardized allergen extracts were conducted in 277 children. The severity of asthma was determined based on the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) assessment and the Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) in addition to the history of use of systemic steroids and hospital admissions within the past 12 months. Results: Sixty-seven percent of children with bronchial asthma reported sensitization to one or more of the inhaled allergens. The most common allergens were olive pollens (18%), cat fur (13.5%), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (11.9%). There was a significant increase in allergen sensitization with age (p < 0.001). The most common concomitant allergic condition among children was allergic rhinitis (71.5%); however, allergic conjunctivitis was the only allergic condition that correlated with the skin test reactivity (p = 0.01). A family history of bronchial asthma was confirmed in 40.4% of children. Children with positive SPTs had lower ACT scores and reported more frequent use of systemic steroids and admissions to hospital within the past 12 months; however, this effect was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Sensitization to inhaled allergens is highly prevalent in children with asthma and wheezing episodes in southern Jordan and may be correlated with the severity of the disease. Therefore, appropriate measures to recognize and avoid these allergens are highly recommended. Most children in our study suffered from concomitant allergic rhinitis, indicating that an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis could significantly improve asthma control and thus the quality of life of these children.