Background: Schoolchildren screening for allergic diseases may improve early identification and management of atopic children. The aim of this study was to perform a schoolchildren screening program for identification of children with allergic diseases. Methods: All parents of children attending to 13 primary schools in the city of Rome were requested to fill in a demographic data form and the ChAt questionnaire. Allergological evaluation was performed in the children with suspect of allergy (ChAt score > 2). Ocular examination was performed to identify signs of allergic conjunctivitis. The presence of allergic symptoms was related to demographic and environmental variables. Results: A total of 2667 children (mean age: 7.1 ± 1 years) were included, and 2489 (93.3%) parents completed the ChAt questionnaire. Results of ChAt questionnaire showed a previous diagnosis of allergic disease in 637 (25.6%) children and the potential presence of an allergic disease (ChAt score > 2) in 35.1%. Multivariate analysis showed that older age, male gender, and having less than two siblings were associated with higher risk of allergic disease. Visual screening showed the presence of clinical signs of allergic conjunctivitis in 2% of children. Allergologic evaluation in 334 children confirmed the diagnosis of allergic disease in 324 (97%) cases. Among them, 97 (29.9%) did not refer to a previous formal diagnosis of allergic condition. Conclusions: This study confirmed that schoolchildren screening using ChAt questionnaire could represent a useful tool for early identification of yet undiagnosed atopic children.
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
- allergic diseases
- school screening
- screening questionnaire