Objective: We aim to describe the data collected from India during phase 3 of the International study of asthma and allergy in childhood (ISAAC) study. Prevalence, severity, and population characteristics associated with rhinitis, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema were assessed.
Methods: Children from two age groups (6-7 and 13-14 years) were included in the study as per the ISAAC protocol. The symptoms of allergy and associated features were assessed using a questionnaire.
Results: The prevalence of allergic rhinitis among the 6-7 years age group was 11.3%, while it was 24.4% in the 13-14 years age group. The prevalence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis was 3.9% in the 6-7 years age group and 10.9% in the 13-14 years age group. The prevalence of eczema was 2.8% in the 6-7 years age group and 3.7% in the 13-14 years age group. The passage of trucks near home, parental smoking, use of paracetamol, use of antibiotics, cooking with firewood, and television watching were associated with allergic rhinitis, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema. Maternal smoking was the strongest of all the associated features for allergic rhinitis, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema, especially in the 6-7 years age group (odds ratio: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.5-2.4; odds ratio: 2.9, 95% CI, 2.2-3.9; and odds ratio: 3.5, 95% CI: 2.6-4.8, respectively).
Conclusion: Allergic conditions like allergic rhinitis, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema are prevalent among Indian children and are associated with environmental tobacco smoke, paracetamol use, antibiotic use, television watching, and outdoor and indoor air pollution.