The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC): study design and methods of phase II

E. von Mutius, S. K. Weiland, U. Keil and the ISAAC Steering Committee

Abstract: Following the success of worldwide ISAAC phase I surveys subsequent ISAAC phase II studies have started in some areas. The aim of these studies is to confirm the differences in the prevalence of atopic conditions shown in phase I by objective measures of disease and to extend our understanding of the determinants of childhood asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis. A comprehensive protocol has been developed describing the sampling procedure and the different methods to examine study subjects. An extended questionnaire asking for other respiratory symptoms, management of affected children, and for potential risk factors has been developed. Moreover, child contact modules for skin examination for flexural dermatitis, skin prick tests, bronchial challenge, blood sampling for serologic and genetic analyses, and dust sampling procedures to measure indoor allergen levels are described. We expect that the ongoing international studies using these objective measures of disease, which apply strict quality criteria for implementation of the field work, and carefully assess the exposures of interest will further contribute to our understanding of childhood asthma and allergies in the near future.

Allergologie 1999; 22(5):283-288

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