Geraldine McNeill, lead researcher, said: "Data collected up until 1999 suggests that while wheezing has increased almost threefold, there has been no change in the proportion of children with wheezy bronchitis, suggesting that the major increase has been in allergic asthma. There have also been substantial increases in the related allergic conditions of hay fever and eczema. Another interesting pattern is that the increase in asthma in girls has been greater than that in boys, so that now asthma is equally common in girls and boys."
Researchers at Aberdeen University are to survey some 5,000 upper primary children in the city to assess their vulnerability to asthma.
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