This study aims to determine the prevalence of asthma, wheeze and dry nocturnal cough, and also to assess predictors of these health outcomes among adolescents from nine different geographic regions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Guided by the population health framework, analysis focused on responses to select items from a survey that was administered on 6,363 UAE adolescents. Frequency analyses determined the prevalence of health outcomes and explanatory variables. Bivariate analyses assessed associations between each outcome and all explanatory variables. Logistic regression models were used to identify significant predictors of asthma, wheeze, and dry nocturnal cough for each geographic region. The prevalence of asthma, wheeze, and dry nocturnal cough ranged from 7.0 to 16.9%, 9.3 to 14.8% and 30.4 to 48.2% respectively. Associations between health outcomes and explanatory variables vary across regions. Results of multivariate regression modeling identified significant predictors of the respiratory conditions, which varied across regions. The prevalence proportions of respiratory symptoms and particularly dry nocturnal cough are relatively high in the UAE. Predictors of respiratory health in the UAE differ across regions and may be closely tied to the regional physical and social environments, which are linked to individual behaviors and lifestyles.
Key words: Air quality, respiratory health, asthma, health determinants, adolescents, population health, United Arab Emirates.
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