Childhood asthma at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi.

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Between January 1986 and July 1988, 356 children with bronchial asthma below 14 years of age were evaluated at the Kenyatta National Hospital. 21.3% experienced initial asthmatic attacks before the age of six months and 55.1% before 2 years. Only 8% of the study patients were below the age of 2 years at recruitment. The male:female ratio was 1:1. Physical exercise led to precipitation or worsening of attacks in 43.4% while 71.6% of the patients experienced attacks in the evening or at night. 18.5% and 42.9% had personal history of atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis respectively. The study shows that a substantial number of patients experience initial asthmatic attacks before the age of 6 months contrary to what has been previously believed.


East African Medical Journal