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Kutzora, Susanne; Herrera Reyes, Daniela; Weinberger, Alisa; Huss, Jonas; Nennstiel, Uta; Mutius, Erika von; Herr, Caroline and Heinze, Stefanie (2021): Medical care and treatment of children with asthmatic or wheezing health outcomes and urban-rural differences in Bavaria - a cross-sectional study. In: Journal of Asthma, Vol. 59, No. 7: pp. 1343-1352

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Introduction: Asthma is among the most common chronic conditions in children. The aim of this publication is to describe prevalence rates and factors associated with asthmatic or wheezing preschoolers and to evaluate medical care and treatment with regard to urban-rural differences. Methods: Data for this cross-sectional study were collected through a questionnaire, which was distributed to parents within the Health Monitoring Units in Bavaria (HMU), Germany. Data from 4767 children were available (2016/17). Those children were classified into four diagnostic groups: Unremitting Wheeze, International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC) Asthma, Physician-diagnosed Asthma, and healthy control group. Urban-rural differences were tested by Pearson's chi-squared test or by Fisher's exact test. Independent variables were factors associated with health outcomes, for example, residency or migrant status. To examine associations between independent and outcome variables multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed. Results: Prevalence rates were 6.3% for 'Unremitting Wheeze', 5.2% for 'ISAAC Asthma', and 1.2% for 'Physician-diagnosed Asthma'. Factors associated with health outcomes were the occurrence of asthma in first-degree relatives, male sex, and migrant status. Generally, higher rates of doctor's visits, positive allergy tests, and corticosteroids intake in the diagnostic groups in rural compared to urban areas were observed. Rates of performed allergy tests were 55.6% for 'ISAAC Asthma' and 74.6% for 'Physician-diagnosed Asthma'. Conclusions: Prevalence rates of the diagnostic groups decreased compared to the HMU 2014/15. According to previous studies, factors associated with asthmatic or wheezing health outcomes could be confirmed. Children in rural areas generally received more medical care.

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