MADRID – A recent study has shown that asthma and allergies are increasingly affecting the Spanish child population. Nearly 400,000 children have asthma and approximately 795,000 children have some form of allergy.
The research published in the journal Archivos de Bronconeumología states that 5.7% of Spanish children under the age of 14 have asthma and 11.4% have some form of allergy, mainly allergic rhinitis.
The research was led by experts from various medical disciplines. This includes research by the Spanish Society of Pulmonary Diseases and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR). “We wanted to measure not only the prevalence of these conditions in children, but also the impact they have on their daily lives and mental health,” says Luis González de Paz, one of the researchers.
Influence on quality of life
The study shows that these conditions have a significant impact on the quality of life of the children involved. According to the data, in 75% of children with poor quality of life, asthma is the cause, and in about 70% of cases it is an allergy.
In addition, asthma and allergies appear to be an important factor in limiting children’s daily activities, such as sports and attending friends’ parties.
Impact on the healthcare system
The study also highlights the pressure these conditions place on the Spanish healthcare system. More than 30% of all pediatric visits to specialists are attributed to asthma or allergies. “This shows the need for an integrated care approach, which ensures continuity of care between education and medical facilities,” adds Antoni Sisó-Almirall, another researcher.
At regional level, Andalucia with 164,169 cases of allergies in the child population and Catalonia with 135,536 cases are the autonomous communities with the most cases. This is followed by Madrid (122,060), the Valencian Community (65,226) and the Canary Islands (50,172).
In the case of asthma in children, the communities with the most cases are Madrid (81,183), Andalucia (69,435), Catalonia (35,565), the Valencian Community (34,963) and the Canary Islands (31,978).