Prevalence of Ever Self‑Reported Asthma and Associated Factors among University Students in Iran: A Population‑Based Study

Masoume Mansouri, Farshad Sharifi, Seyed Saeed Tabatabaee, Elham Heidari, Hamid Yaghubi, Abasali Keshtkar, Yousef Moghadas Tabrizi, Masoud Arzaghi, Mehdi Varmaghani


Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease with regressive episodic symptoms. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of asthma ever (lifetime prevalence of asthma) and the associated factors among newly entered students in public universities in Iran.

Methods: This population‑based cross‑sectional study was part of the “Mental and Physical Health Assessment of University Students in Iran.” The target population included all newly admitted students (N = 151,671) in 74 public universities in 28 provinces (out of the 31 provinces) in Iran. STATA version 12 was used for calculating the descriptive statistics. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were employed to identify relationships between asthma and socioeconomic variables. The level of significance was set at 95% confidence interval.

Results: Of a total of 79,277 participants, 55.23% (n = 43,785) and 44.77% (n = 35,492) were female and male, respectively. The prevalence of ever asthma among studied student was 1.89%. Of all the participants with asthma, 88.43% (85.49%–90.84%) were nonsmokers. More than 20% of the subjects were physically inactive. The respondents who revealed smoking >10 cigarettes/week were about 1.22 (1.036–1.437) times more likely to suffer from asthma disease (0.017), as compared with those who were not smoking.

Conclusions: Our study provides valuable information about the prevalence of asthma ever symptoms among university students in Iran. In fact, the results of this study can fill information gaps concerning the affected groups in Iran, and even worldwide.

Keywords: Asthma, Iran, prevalence, students

Full Text: