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Epidemiology of asthma. Severity matters.

Authors
Weissman-D
Source
Chest 2002 Jan; 121(1):6-8
NIOSHTIC No.
20022949
Abstract
How should asthma be defined in population studies? The question is deceptively simple, and its answer remains elusive. Since questionnaires are the most practical tools to use in screening populations for asthma, much attention has focused on developing survey definitions of asthma based on questionnaires. In general, the approach to validating such definitions has been to assess the ability of individual questions and combinations of questions to predict which individuals in a population have either clinical diagnoses of asthma or nonspecific bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) to agents such as histamine or methacholine. Unfortunately, physicians’ diagnoses of asthma and BHR are not particularly good "gold standards" for identification of asthma. It is likely that a physician’s diagnosis of asthma underdetects subclinical mild asthma. Thus, using it as a "gold standard" will tend to underestimate the specificity of a questionnaire. In contrast, BHR is present in many people without asthma. Therefore, use of BHR as a "gold standard" will underestimate sensitivity
Keywords
Bronchial-asthma; Questionnaires; Humans; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders
Contact
Dr. Weissman, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS L-4218, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
CODEN
CHETBF
Publication Date
20020101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
dweissman@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2002
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0012-3692
NIOSH Division
HELD
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
Chest
State
WV
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