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עמוד בית
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March 2001
Eduardo Shahar, MD and Margalit Lorber, MD

Background: Asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic derma­titis are leading causes of chronic diseases in developed countries, with at least one allergic condition troubling 10 to 20% of the general population. The few studies performed in Israel determined the prevalence of allergic conditions in selected populations (schoolchildren and soldiers) no study representative of the general population has previously been done.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of allergic conditions in the general population in Israel and the differences between ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Method: Using a computer-assisted telephone interview, a telephone questionnaire was conducted in a representative sample of the general Israeli population.

Results: Of the population studied, 140/a claimed to have bronchial asthma, 14% allergic rhinitis, and 6% other allergic conditions. Prevalence rates were higher in the Israeli Arab population and in those with low income and low education levels. Of those with allergic conditions, 58% were treated by a primary physician, 32% were not treated at all, and only 10% were treated by a different specialist physician.

Conclusions: The prevalence of allergic conditions in this study concurs with that found by other studies in developed countries. Allergic conditions are higher in the Israeli Arab population and in those with low income and low education level.

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