The Prevalence, Risk Factors and Changes in Symptoms of Self Reported Asthma, Rhinitis and Eczema Among Pregnant Women in Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Background Allergic disorders have become a major public health concern worldwide. No Nigerian study has examined the epidemiology of allergic diseases among women.

Aim To document the prevalence, risk factors and the changes in the symptoms of allergic disorders during pregnancy.

Settings and Design Cross-sectional study conducted at the booking and antenatal clinics of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Clinic of the Comprehensive Health Center, Oja Igbo, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods Study enrolled 432 women from two public hospitals. Sociodemographic and clinical history were obtained and allergic disorders were diagnosed using ISAAC questionnaires.

Results The prevalence of wheezing, eczema and rhinitis in pregnancy are 7.5%, 4.0% and 5.8% respectively. The prevalence of wheezing and eczema was slightly higher among the pregnant in past 12 months. Wheeze worsened in 70% (18/26), improved in 15% (2/26), and stable in 15% (2/26). Eczema worsened in 50% (7/14), improved in 7.1% (1/14) and stable in 42.9% (6/14), while allergic rhinitis worsened in 50% (11/22), improved in 22.7% (5/22) and stabilized in 27.3 % (6/22). In multivariate analysis, the risk of allergic diseases in pregnancy was increase 2 times by low income earning (CI: 1.2 – 2.1, p = 0.002), low level education (OR = 0.6, CI: 0.3 – 0.9, p = 0.011) and by family history of asthma, OR-4.3, CI – 1.3 – 13.9, p = 0.015. Family history of asthma increase the chances of asthma by 18.7 times, CI-2.3 – 152.2, p = 0.006, while the odd of eczema was increased 9.1 times (CI-2.7 – 30.6, p<0.001) and 2.4 times (CI: 1.2 – 4.7, p = 0.008) by second hand home smoking and low-family income respectively. The risk of allergic rhinitis were raised 1.8 times by low family income (CI 1.1 – 2.8, p = 0.013) and 3.9 times by family history of rhinitis (OR = 3.9, CI 1.2 – 12.7, p = 0.024).

Conclusion Prevalence of wheezing and eczema are higher in pregnancy probably due to exacerbation induced by pregnancy. Social and genetic factors are important risk factors for allergic disorders in pregnancy.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR