ISAAC Milestones

1991Launch of ISAAC
1993 First publication
1994 Core questions
1995 Global coverage
1997 Phase 1 papers
1998 Phase 2 modules
1999 Phase 3 planned
2001 Phase 3 modules
2004 Guinness record
2006 Time trend paper
2008 Phase 3B maps
2011 500th publication

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ISAAC's Beginnings

The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood is a unique worldwide epidemiological research programme established in 1991 to investigate asthma, rhinitis and eczema in children due to considerable concern that these conditions were increasing in western and developing countries, and that the causes of this increase were unknown.

ISAAC developed from a merging of two multinational collaborative projects each investigating variations in childhood asthma at the population level. These were an initiative from Auckland, New Zealand to conduct an international comparative study of asthma severity, and an initiative from Bochum, Germany to conduct an international study to monitor time trends and determinants of the prevalence of asthma and allergies in children.

This section charts the development of ISAAC from its early origins to its current global coverage and organisational structure. This history is summarised chronologically in a timeline and embellished with personal memories of some of the founder members of the consortium.

Here we present the global perspective on the ISAAC Story. More detail on the history within each region and study centre may be found under “Centres”.