The Contribution of ISAAC to the Understanding of Asthma

Chris Lai and Niel Pearce

Abstract: The rising trend of asthma prevalence in industrialized countries has become a major public-health issue. However, despite intensive research in past decades, the mechanisms underlying this increase are still largely unclear. One way to investigate the etiology of a disease is through international comparisons of its prevalence. This provides us with the opportunity to evaluate whether our current knowledge of putative risk factors can account for the differences seen among different populations (including different populations with the same ethnic origins) and at different times. Furthermore, this may help identify "new" risk factors that hitherto have not been hypothesized or adequately studied. This approach has been used in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC).

Leukotriene Res & Clin Rev 2001; 2: 1-4.

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