Gender-specific presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in primary care

Mustafa Osman, Anna L. Hansell, Colin R. Simpson, Jennifer Hollowell, Peter J. Helms

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68 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To identify age- and gender-specific prevalence rates for physician-diagnosed asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR) and eczema across a whole lifespan.

METHOD: Presentations of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were identified in individuals aged 0 to 65 who consulted their general practitioner at least once in 1998-99 from a population sample of 266,733 in Scotland, and in 1991-95 for asthma and allergic rhinitis in 6,836,063 person years at risk in England and Wales.

RESULTS: In both sexes asthma presentations peak at 4-6 years whilst eczema peaks in infancy. A second asthma peak occurs during adolescence, earlier in females, at a time when a female predominance for all three atopic diseases is established. Female predominance of eczema presentations are limited to the reproductive period of 15-49 years.

CONCLUSION: The patterns of presentations for asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema by age and gender suggest important gender-specific differences in disease predisposition and diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007



  • asthma
  • eczema
  • allergic rhinitis
  • sex
  • gender
  • epidemiology

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