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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 11 (2004), Issue 4, Pages 298-300
Original Article

Screening for Common Respiratory Diseases among Israeli Adolescents

Yaron Bar Dayan, Keren Elishkevits, Liav Goldstein, Avishay Goldberg, Michel Fichler, Nisim Ohana, Yehezkel Levi, and Yosefa Bar Dayan

Surgeon General Headquarters, Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps, Faculty of Medicine, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheba, Israel

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Respiratory diseases are responsible for a significant proportion of serious morbidity among adolescents. There are few reports on the prevalence of common respiratory disorders in this population. The previous studies focused on specific diseases and screened relatively small samples.

OBJECTIVE: To define the prevalence of different common respiratory disorders among 17-year-old Israeli conscripts.

DESIGN: All 17-year-old Israeli nationals are obliged by law to appear at the Israel Defense Forces recruiting office for medical examination. Respiratory disease specialists evaluated and classified nominees with suspected respiratory disorders.

RESULTS: A high prevalence of respiratory morbidity was found among 94,805 17-year-old conscripts (61.5% male, 39.5% female). The most prevalent diagnosis was asthma (in 8% of male and 6.8% of female subjects). Fifty-five per cent of the asthma patients suffered from moderate to severe disease. The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was 0.03% for the male and 0.01% for the female subjects. A difference in morbidity patterns between male and female adolescents was noted, particularly in the prevalence of chest deformation and spontaneous pneumothorax.

CONCLUSIONS: The most prevalent respiratory disorder among 17-year-old Israeli conscripts was asthma. One-half of the asthma patients in this study suffered from moderate to severe disease. The prevalence of other respiratory disorders was much lower.