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Changes in the prevalence of asthma and respiratory symptoms in western Sweden between 2008 and 2016.

Journal article
Authors Eivind Borna
Bright I Nwaru
Anders Bjerg
Roxana Mincheva
Madeleine Rådinger
Bo Lundbäck
Linda Ekerljung
Published in Allergy
Volume 74
Issue 9
Pages 1703-1715
ISSN 1398-9995
Publication year 2019
Published at Krefting Research Centre
Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine
Pages 1703-1715
Language en
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Environmental Health and Occupational Health


Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, with a noticeable increase in prevalence during the second half of the 20th century. Recent studies assessing the prevalence trends among adults have been inconsistent. We investigated the changes in the prevalence of asthma, respiratory symptoms and risk factors between 2008 and 2016 in western Sweden.The West Sweden Asthma Study (WSAS) is a population-based study which started in 2008 (WSAS I) and then repeated in 2016 (WSAS II) in western Sweden. Randomly selected individuals aged 16-75 years (N=18087 in 2008 and N=24534 in 2016) completed a questionnaire regarding obstructive lung diseases, respiratory symptoms, potential risk factors and also questions from the GA2 LEN survey.The prevalence of reported ever asthma, physician diagnosed asthma, use of asthma medication, and current asthma increased significantly from 9.6% to 11%, 8.3% to 10%, 8.6% to 9.8%, and 8.1% to 9.1% respectively, between 2008 and 2016. There were also increases in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms during the same period. The greatest increase occurred in young adults aged 16-25 years. Female gender, allergic rhinitis, obesity and family history of asthma remained the strongest risk factors for asthma in 2016 as it was in 2008.There were moderate increases in asthma and respiratory symptoms in adults in western Sweden between 2008 and 2016, the greatest increase occurring in younger adults. The potential risk factors for asthma remained the same during the study period. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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