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J Asthma Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Apr;21(2):198-204. Korean. Original Article.
Lee MH , Hong SC , Kim YK , Cho SH , Min KU , Kim YY .
Department of Pediatrics, Cheju National University College of Medicine.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Cheju National University College of Medicine.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine.
Institute of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Seoul National University Medical Research Center.

BACKGROUND: Atopic diseases have been increasing according to changes in life style and indoor environments. Atopic rhinitis is a prevalent atopic disease in children, but the prevalence has been reported differently according to geographic areas. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to elucidate the prevalence of childhood atopic rhinitis and to identify the distribution of causative allergens in total children living in rural areas of Cheju island. METHOD: A total of 7,145 subjects aged 7-15 years in South Cheju County was recruited in this study. They responded to an ISAAC questionnaire and underwent allergy skin prick test with common aeroallergens. Chronic rhinitis was positive in this respect if subjects experienced two or more rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose and nasal blockage, which were not related to the common cold. Atopy was regarded as positive when the wheal caused by one or more of the common allergens was the same or larger than that caused by histamine. RESULTS: The prevalence of chronic rhinitis was 10.5%. The prevalence of chronic rhinitis was the same between girls and boys, but higher as the ages of the subjects were older (7-9 years: 7.7%; 10-12: 10.6%; 13-15: 12.3%, p< 0.001). The atopy rate was 59.7%, meaning that the prevalence of atopic rhinitis was 6.2% and non-atopic rhinitis 4.2%. The common sensitizing allergens in decreasing order were Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (40.4%), D. farinae (36.3%), citrus red mite (16.4%), cockroach (14.4%), outdoor Fungi (9.8%), Hop Japanese (5.6%) and Japanese cedar (4.5%) pollens. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of atopic rhinitis was 6.2% and the causative allergens such as citrus red mite and Japanese cedar pollen were different from the Korean mainland area.

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