BACKGROUND--The aim of the study was to determine the trend and seasonal variation in hospital admissions for childhood asthma in the Athens region of Greece. METHODS--Data were obtained from hospital registries of the three main children's hospitals in Athens between 1978 and 1988. Children admitted with the diagnosis of asthma, asthmatic bronchitis, or wheezy bronchitis were included. The data were expressed as admission rates per 100,000 of the same aged population. RESULTS--There were 9795 admissions for asthma over the 11 years and the admission rate rose by 294%. Admissions among those aged 0-4 and 5-14 rose by 272% and 379% respectively. Monthly admissions showed a pronounced seasonal variation, rising during the cold damp period in the 0-4 age group, but peaking around May in the 5-14 age group. CONCLUSIONS--These findings suggest that hospital admissions due to asthma in the Athens region have increased considerably since 1978, and that clear cut seasonal variations exist which are specific to age.
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