Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Schoolchildren in Sirt

Original article


Nagib Fallah 1, Rabia Mahmoud 2,Om Saad Farag 3

1-Department of Medicine, Faculty of medicine, University of Al-Tahadi. 2-Ibn-Sena Hospital; Department of medicine.Sirt, Libya

JMJ Vol.7, No.3 (Autumn 2007):180-183


This study was carried out in Sirt, which is a small city in Libya, with a population of about 90,000. It is situated on the south of the Mediterranean sea and the Northern great desert. Sirt is characterised by absence of industrial pollutant; high humidity and dusty weather in the summer season; and a historate of high consanguineous (cousin) marriage. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of asthma among Libyan schoolchildren in Sirt city. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out using the ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) written questionnaire with additional questions on father’s smoke history, cousin marriage, and family history of asthma and school performance. Parents of 12384 Schoolchildren from 11 to 16 years completed a questionnaire on the respiratory health of their children. Results: The prevalence of wheezing is 3.6%, and breathlessness is 6.5% with no statistically significant difference between boys and girls. Sleep disturbance is 8.7%, and nocturnal dry cough is 11.4%. Asthmatic symptoms were found to be high in children with positive family history of allergic diathesis and significant difference between girls and boys. But no association was found with age, Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma among schoolchildren living in Sirt city is low compared with other African and Middle Eastern countries.

Keywords: Asthma, Prevalence, Wheeze, Breathlessness, School children, Family history, Consanguineous, Smoke