1259 Prevelance, treatment patterns and risk factors of asthma and rhinits among adults in the UAE

Monday, 6 December 2010
Objective To assess the prevalence of symptoms of Chronic Respiratory diseases like asthma, and allergic rhinitis especially in adults in the UAE. due to lack of  epidemiological data Methods 1,225 direct interviews were conducted (in English and Arabic) on randomly selected people of all age groups, throughout the 7 emirates (males :66.5%, females: 33.5%). Modified European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS)II Questionnaire, both the Short Screening & Main ones were used with changes to reflect environmental & cultural nuances of the UAE. Results From the Screening questionnaire the prevalence of wheezing in the past 1yr was 10.1%. Of those interviewed, 8.1% had asthma attacks in the last 1yr, 7.9%are were currently on asthma drugs, 6.9% had nasal allergies. The key findings in known 188 asthmatics were 58.5% claimed to have asthma. More asthma attacks were seen in Jan/Feb (26.1%) and  (19.1%) in Nov/Dec, Fewer attacks were reported in March/April. About, 36.2% had nasal allergies and 23.4% took treatment for it.. About 10.1% had eczema or skin rash and 47.9% took asthma medications. Of the asthmatics, 19.1% woke up less than twice a month because of their asthma in past 3months and 10.5 workdays were lost due to asthma in past 1yr. Average age when they first experienced an asthma attack was 13.5 years. The average no of attacks experienced in the past 1yr was 9.5.Short acting beta agonist inhalers (41.5%) was the most used followed by Long acting beta agonist inhalers (6.9%.onl) Approximately, 3.7% were on inhaled steroids alone and 8.5% were using oral beta agonists followed by methyxanthines (2.1%) and antileukotrienes (1.6%). Only 9.6% had a spirometry or laboratory test done. Alternative  remedies comprised of 9% on breathing exercises, 6.9% on diet control, 4.3% on swimming/other exercises & 3.7% homeopathy. About 18.1% of asthmatics were regularly exposed to tobacco smoke in the past 1yr  Conclusion A high prevalence of asthma symptoms and nasal allergies in adults was found. Environmental factors had an important role. The level of annoyance by outdoor air pollution was 6.4. There was more use of short acting beta agonist  as the main stay of asthma treatment with underutilisation of spirometry, peak flow meters, allergy tests, xrays in diagnosis and increasing dependence on alternative remedies (19.7%). Reference Asthma insights and reality in the Gulf and the near East. Khadadah M, Mahboub B, Al-Busaidi NH, Sliman N, Soriano JB, BahousJ ,Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 Aug;13(8):1015-22