Malta flag

National Publications

The following publications used ISAAC data from Malta:

  • Montefort S, Lenicker HM, Caruna S, Agius Muscat H. Asthma, rhinitis and eczema in Maltese 13-15 year-old schoolchildren -- prevalence, severity and associated factors [ISAAC].International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Clin Exp Allergy 1998; 28(9): 1089-99.
  • Montefort S, Muscat HA, Caruana S, Lenicker H. Allergic conditions in 5-8-year-old Maltese schoolchildren: Prevalence, severity, and associated risk factors [ISAAC]. Pediatr Allergy Immunol.2002 Apr;13(2):98-104.
  • Montefort S, Ellul P, Montefort M, Caruana S, Muscat HA. Increasing prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis but not eczema in 5- to 8-yr-old Maltese children (ISAAC). Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2009; 20(1):67-71.
  • Montefort S, Ellul P, Montefort M, Caruana S, Agius Muscat H. A decrease in the prevalence and improved control of allergic conditions in 13- to 15-yr-old Maltese children (ISAAC). Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010; 22(1): e107-e111

Malta, Eastern Mediterranean

Centres:Phase:PI:Age Groups
Malta1 Professor Stephen Montefort 13-14, 6-7
Malta3 Professor Stephen Montefort 13-14, 6-7

National Coordinator:


  • ISAAC Steering Committee
  • Regional Coordinator for Eastern Mediterranean
  • National Coordinator for Malta
  • Phase One Principal Investigator for Malta
  • Phase Three Principal Investigator for Malta

Professor Stephen Montefort

Professor Stephen Montefort

Department of Medicine
University of Malta
Appt 121 Tas- Sellum Residence


ISAAC in Malta

This study was a first for our small country where we managed to gather a strong set of data which we could reliably compare to other countries. This was especially significant as the numbers required by ISAAC to be recruited were a good percentage of Maltese children in the chosen age-groups. The results have opened the eyes of the health authorities and the public to the very real problem our country has with childhood allergic conditions. We have managed to publish our findings and this was an added bonus to our medical department. So all in all our experience in ISAAC has certainly been very good. This should encourage us to partake in future similar international studies.


Malta seemed to have amongst the highest prevalences of allergic condition in the Mediterranean with the rate of rhinoconjunctivitis in 13 – 14 year olds being third highest in the world in phase 1 of the study. In the younger age group we have noticed that along the years between phase 1 and phase 3 we had a very significant increase in the prevalence of wheezing and rhinitis but not eczema. Thankfully this was also associated with better control and decresase in severity of the conditions studied. In the older age groups the prevalences tended to plateau and in the case of rhinitis and eczema, they actually decreased significantly.