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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


ARNEDO-PENA, Alberto et al. Domestic water hardness and prevalence of atopic eczema in Castellon (Spain) schoolchildren. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, n.4, pp.295-301. ISSN 0036-3634.

Water hardness has been associated with atopic eczema (AE) prevalence in two epidemiologic studies carried out on schoolchildren in England and Japan. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the association between the prevalence of AE and domestic water hardness. METHODS: The prevalence of AE was obtained from The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, carried out in six towns in the province of Castellón on schoolchildren 6-7 and 13-14 years of age, using a standard questionnaire in 2002. Three zones were defined according to domestic water hardness of the six study localities: <200 mg/l, 200-250 mg/l, and >300 mg/l. A logistic regression analysis was performed. RESULTS: The lifetime prevalence of AE in schoolchildren 6-7 years of age was higher with the increment of water hardness, 28.6, 30.5 and 36.5% respectively for each zone; between zone 1 and zone 3, the adjusted odds ratios (ORa) were 1.58 (95% Confidence Intervals [CI] 1.04-2.39) (adjusted tendency test p=0.034). Prevalence of symptoms of AE within the past year were 4.7, 4.5, and 10.4%, respectively by zone; between zone 1 and zone 3, the ORa was 2.29 (95% CI 1.19-4.42) (adjusted tendency test p=0,163). For 13-14 year-old schoolchildren, tendencies to lifetime prevalence of AE at any time or in the past year were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that in 6-7 year-old schoolchildren, water hardness in the area where they live has some relevance to the development of the disease.

Keywords : atopic eczema; water hardness; prevalence; school-children; Spain.

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