Table 3

Net change in prevalence (%) of wheeze, asthma and nasal allergies/hay fever (prevalence at ECRHS III minus prevalence at ECRHS I); (adjusted for non-response) by generalised estimating equations and combined by random effects meta-analysis across countries and stratified by gender, age at baseline, presence of hay fever/nasal allergies at baseline, asthma treatment and smoking status

WheezeWheeze—no coldWheeze with shortness of breathAsthma attackAsthma medicationHay fever/nasal allergies
GenderMale −2.6 (−4.2 to −1.1) −1.7 (3.0 to −0.4) 0.2 (0.9 to 1.3)0.2 (0.5 to 0.9) 2.5 (1.7–3.4) 2.3 (0.5–4.0)
Female −1.9 (3.6 to −0.3) −1.3 (2.6 to −0.1) 0.2 (0.5 to 0.8)0.0 (0.0–0.0) 3.9 (2.8–5.0) 3.7 (2.0–5.4)
Age group<35 −2.6 (4.1 to 1.1) −1.8 (3.1 to −0.6) 0.9 (0.4 to 2.2) 0.9 (0.2–1.5) 3.0 (2.2–3.8) 3.9 (2.5–5.3)
(Baseline)35+ −1.9 (3.5 to −0.4) −1.0 (2.2 to 0.3)−0.2 (0.6 to 0.2)0.2 (0.5 to 0.9) 3.9 (2.7–5.2) 0.8 (0.7 to 2.2)
Nasal allergies*No −1.5
(−2.9 to
0.0)
−0.3 (1.6 to 1.1) 1.8 (0.9–2.7) 1.2  (0.8 – 1.7) 3.7 (2.8–4.6)
Yes 6.1
(9.4 to
2.9)
5.7 (8.3 to 3.2) 3.7 (6.7 to 0.7) 1.5 (3.1 to 0.1) 3.5 (1.6–5.4)
Smoking*Never 0.1 (2.2 to 1.9)0.6 (1.2 to 2.3)0.4 (0.9 to 1.8)0.2 (0.6 to 0.9) 3.4 (2.1–4.7) 2.1 (0.3 to 4.5)
Ex → Ex5.3 (4.1 to 14.7) 0.1 (2.2 to 2.0) 0.6 (2.6 to 1.5)0.8 (0.9 to 2.5) 2.4 (1.1–3.7) 3.1 (0.6–5.6)
Current →Ex 12.2 (16.0 to 8.5) 7.4 (11.4 to 3.3) 0.6 (1.8 to 3.0)1.1 (0.4 to 2.7) 5.1 (3.5–6.7) 3.8 (0.4–7.2)
Current → Current1.0 (2.6 to 4.7)0.0 (3.7 to 3.7)2.5 (0.4 to 5.4)3.3 (0.8 to 7.4) 4.6 (1.8–7.4) 3.8 (0.9 to 8.6)
Asthma medicationNever 2.9 (4.1 to 1.7) 1.6 (2.9 to 0.4)0.3 (0.6 to 1.2) 0.0 (0.3 to 0.3) 2.7 (1.6–3.9)
Ever0.8 (3.9 to 5.5) 1.4 (7.3 to 4.5)6.6 (2.9 to 16.1) 4.6 (0.2–9.0) 1.5 (2.5 to 5.6)
  • *Meta-analyses conducted by country to allow comparison of groups. 

  • Numbers are in bold if p<0.05.

  • ECRHS, European Community Respiratory Health Survey.