In Russia, bronchial asthma, judging by the literature, until 1900 was a relatively rare disease. In Russian medical journals of the time, we came across a report on isolated diseases of bronchial asthma in adults and children with a description of the results of sputum and blood tests (A. A. Kisel, 1894; L. Sverzhevsky, 1894; D. P. Kishensky, 1896; S. B. Vermel, 1900; E. Ya. Stolkind, 1903, etc.).
In St. Petersburg, according to the statistics of the outpatient clinic of one of the children’s hospitals, from 1887 to 1895 there were only 6 visits to patients with bronchial asthma at 178,755 outpatient visits (E. Ya. Stolkind, 1903).
According to the Elizabethan Hospital, from 1871 to 1893, only 14 patients with bronchial asthma were registered in 14,450 inpatients.
In Moscow in 1935-1936 3 patients with bronchial asthma were identified per 1000 examined healthy people: 1 man and 2 women (N. N. Malkova, 1936).
According to 3 children’s clinics in Moscow (1946-1949), bronchial asthma occurred in 0.1% (S. G. Zvyagintseva, 1948).
In the period from 1923 to the first half of 1926, the number of patients with bronchial asthma in the faculty of therapeutic clinic I of the Leningrad Medical Institute was 1.7%. In other therapeutic clinics of Leningrad in the same period, from 0.5 to 2.0% (M. Ya. Aryev, 1926).
According to our data, starting from 1935 through the first half of 1941, the number of patients with bronchial asthma in clinics I of the Leningrad Medical Institute in relation to all patients ranged from 0.20 to 0.35%, and in relation to the therapeutic group of patients from 0> 45 to 0.9%.
According to the 31st polyclinic at the I Leningrad Medical Institute, in 1958, primary referral for asthma was 0.3% for women), 0.4% for men, and 0.37% for men and women. . During the same year, a total of 6.0% of men and 6.0% of women were referred to the clinic with respiratory diseases.
According to the data of clinics I of the Leningrad Medical Institute, the number of patients with asthma who dropped out of the clinics was 5.4% in 1958, 7% in 1959, 6.4% in 1960, and in 1961 .— 5.8%. At the same time, the proportion of bronchial asthma among all diseases was 1.24 in 1958, 2.2 in 1959, 1.7 in 1960, 1.7, and 1.55 in 1961.
The increased incidence of asthma nowadays, compared with the second half of the 19th century, obviously depends on a number of factors. Among them, it should be noted the improvement in the recognition of this disease by doctors, which made it possible to diagnose it more often in cases where it was previously seen.
There is no consensus on the distribution of patients with asthma among men and women. Nevertheless, almost all authors note a slight predominance among sick men. Our data indicate a slight predominance of the number of women (55.6%) over the number of men (43.4%) with asthma. This predominance largely depends on the conditions that occurred during the Great Patriotic War and the blockade of Leningrad. We made our observations in Leningrad at this time. According to our data, before the Great Patriotic War, the number of men and women with bronchial asthma was the same.
According to observations made in England, from the age of 1 year of life to puberty, boys among patients with bronchial asthma were almost three times more than girls. At the age of 15 to 45 years, women fell ill more often than men. After 45 years of age, men fall ill more often than women (Bray, 1950).
According to Baaghe (1958), bronchial asthma develops in Denmark at any age, but the largest number of cases among men was before the age of 5 and after 40 years.
In Germany, patients with bronchial asthma are registered mainly in childhood and adolescence (Klevitz, 1929).
Table 1 provides data on the age when the disease of bronchial asthma began in patients who were under the supervision of various researchers, as well as observed by us. From the table it follows that bronchial asthma is most often contracted from birth to 10 years (data of M. Ya. Aryev, P.K. Bulatov, S. G. Zvyagintseva, Bray, Cook – Coke, etc.) and the period from 21 years to 40 years. In the period from 41 years to 50 years and older, the number of patients with asthma was the smallest.
We believe that these two incidence increases can be related to the following two main points.
Toxic infection processes are often played out for the first time years of life precisely in the respiratory system. Most often these are bronchitis and bronchopneumonia, which occur in the first two years of life, less often – from 2 to 5 years (M. S. Maslov, 1951). These diseases occur severely, for a long time and have a great tendency to relapse. Measles and whooping cough pneumonia at this age are also quite common. According to Osler (Osier, 1928) and other authors, pertussis pneumonia in children under 5 years old is one of the first places among all acute infections.
The second rise in incidence occurs in blooming working age, from 21 years to 40 years. At this age, the body exhibits increased reactivity. It should be noted that most allergic diseases appear at this age.
The age of patients who came to our clinic ranged from 1 year to 70 years. Half of all patients were patients aged 31 to 50 years. Slightly smaller groups consisted of patients aged 51 years to 60 years, from 21 years to 30 years and from 11 to 20 years.