oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Association between household living conditions and eczema in adolescents living in Limpopo Province, South Africa : original research article

Volume 20 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



: This is the third study that has applied the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) methodology in southern Africa and is the first to be carried out in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

: To assess the 12-month prevalence of eczema symptoms (ES) and the prevalence of ever having had eczema (EE) along with potential risk factors.
: Within a 60 km radius from the Polokwane city centre, Limpopo Province.
: The survey was conducted during August 2004 and February 2005. Children (13-14 years) completed the questionnaires in English, Afrikaans or North Sotho ( = 3 926).
: The 12-month prevalence of ES (9.6%) was lower than the prevalence rate of EE (19.4%). The multivariate logistic regression model revealed that being male, English-speaking, living in a rural area, living more than a 15-minute walk or a 5- minute drive from a clinic or being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at home was significantly associated with ES. Being male, having running water in the household and using coal and/or paraffin with gas and / or electricity during cooking were significantly associated with EE.
: Eczema appears to be a substantial public health problem in the Polokwane area. Hopefully, detailed analytical intervention studies will scrutinise these results in the near future.

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