The aim of this was to study generate the first epidemiological data regarding the prevalence of hymenoptera allergy among school children in Ireland. Questionnaires, including six sting-specific questions (1), were distributed to the parents of primary school children aged 6-8 and 11-13, divided equally between rural and urban backgrounds. From 110 schools, 4112 questionnaires were returned. A total of 1544 (37.5%) children had been stung in their lifetime. Among the total, 5.8% of children stung experienced a large local reaction, 3.4% had a mild (cutaneous) systemic reaction (MSR) and 0.8% experienced a moderate/severe systemic reaction (SSR); these figures respectively represent 2.2%, 1.3% and 0.2% of the total study group. On logistic regression analysis, older children and rural children were at a higher risk of being stung (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.4-2.; OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.4-1.8 respectively). Rural dwellers and asthma sufferers were more likely to experience an SSR (OR 4.3; 95% CI 1.4-13.5 and OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.8-4.3, respectively). Hymenoptera stings are more common in rural than urban dwelling Irish children. Asthma imparted a greater risk of SSR in this study population. Severe reactions are unusual overall, occurring in <1% of those stung, a lower prevalence than in Israeli teenagers but in keeping with other European reports relating to young children.
University College Cork ->