J Korean Med Sci.  2011 Feb;26(2):201-206. 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.2.201.

Prevalence of Allergic Diseases and Risk Factors of Wheezing in Korean Military Personnel

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 2Commander, Armed Forces Chunchun Hospital, Chunchun, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Clinical Research Center for Chronic Obstructive Airway Diseases, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. seiwon@snubh.org


The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis, as well as the risk factors of wheezing among young adults in the Korean military. Young military conscripts in five areas completed a modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. For subjects with current wheeze in one sample area, baseline spirometry and bronchodilator response were measured. For subjects without a significant response to bronchodilator (improvement in FEV1 of more than 200 mL and 12%), methacholine challenge tests (MCT) were also performed. Of 3,359 subjects that completed the questionnaire, 354 (10.5%) had current wheeze, 471 (14.0%) had current allergic rhinitis, and 326 (9.7%) had current eczema. Current wheeze was associated with family history of allergic disease, overweight, current smoking, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Of 36 subjects with current wheeze who underwent PFT with or without MCT in the Anyang area, 24 (66.7%) were confirmed to have current asthma. In conclusion, the prevalence of allergic disease in young adults of Korean military is not low, and the risk factors of wheezing include family history of allergic disease, overweight, current smoking, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.


Allergic Rhinitis; Asthma; Dermatitis, Atopic; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Respiratory Sounds
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