Hungary flag

Areas of ISAAC study

Completing questionnaires in schools

Hungary, Northern and Eastern Europe

Centres:Phase:PI:Age Groups
Svábhegy3 Dr Györgyi Zsigmond 13-14, 6-7
Szeged3 Dr Zoltán Novák 13-14

National Coordinator:


  • National Coordinator for Hungary
  • Phase Three Principal Investigator for Svábhegy

Dr Györgyi Zsigmond

Dr Györgyi Zsigmond

Senior Consultant Pediatrician, Pediatric Pulmonologist,
Svabhegy Institute,


ISAAC in Hungary

I had always a feeling that the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis was absolutely underestimated in my country, Hungary, during the last decades. Although there were some studies performed on this field, the questionnaires and other methods were not validated, so we could not compare the results with the international data. When I took part in the ATS Congress in the early nineties, I was aware that an international study about asthma and allergies was being prepared. In 2002, I was not only the head of the pulmonary division of the University of Szeged, but I was also the science director of the Institute of Svábhegy in Budapest, in our capital city. During this time, we could join the “ISAAC family” with these two institutions. I nominated Dr. Zsigmond to be the national coordinator, and I also invited some excellent pediatricians to participate in the trial, Dr Marianne Kovács, Dr Ildikó Kovács from Szeged and Dr Károly Berényi from Hódmez?vásárhely. You can see on the picture the map of Hungary with two areas marked with red color, where ISAAC Phase Three was performed in both age groups. We translated the questionnaire into Hungarian, sent hundreds of letters to try to get some financial support – to tell the truth it was extremely difficult - sent also letters to the directors of the schools to let us perform the trial in the schools. You can see a photo, how the questionnaire was done in one of the schools.

We had difficulties of course during the investigations, but with the continuous help of Philippa Ellwood and the other staff members of the team, we were able to solve them. After finishing ISAAC Phase Three, we had clear data about the prevalence of asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis in Hungary. We had some publications and lectures in different national conferences about our results and also proudly found the excellent publications of ISAAC Phase Three in high impact international journals.

Last but not least, it was a great pleasure to meet the other members of the ISAAC family in different international conferences, to take part in the informal meetings during the last years, with other words, we were very proud to became the members of such a nice family. I also hope, that we did not finish, and we can find other possibilities to continue our common work in the future.

As the president of the Hungarian Society of Pediatric Pulmonology and also the president of Hungarian Society of Pediatric Allergology, all the other members of ISAAC family are cordially invited to come and visit our beautiful country anytime. Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you needed any help in the future.

Zoltan Novak