The present study tests the suggestion that the respiratory morbidity of children resident in South Wales is substantially higher than that among children resident in some other areas of the United Kingdom. A case control survey was carried out among 2228 children aged 7 to 11 years in schools matched for size and socioeconomic characteristics in urban and rural areas in South Wales and the West of England. The survey confirmed that respiratory morbidity was higher among children in South Wales and that this excess could not readily be dismissed as being caused by over-reporting. However, objective measurements of the children's respiratory health did not detect any consistent difference in the lung function of children in South Wales compared with that of children in the West of England.
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