J Med Assoc Thai 2003; 86 (1):74

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Urticaria and Angioedema in Siriraj Medical Students
Jiamton S Mail, Suthipinittharm P

The present study aimed to investigate the current prevalence of urticaria with or without
angioedema among Siriraj medical students, the possible causative agent(s), the association between
a history of atopy, behavior of patients seeking treatment and natural course. A cross-sectional study
was conducted among 428 Siriraj medical students, Mahidol University in October, 2001. The study
showed the prevalence of urticaria and angioedema to be 51.6 per cent and 19.6 per cent respectively,
coexisting in 13.6 per cent but urticaria alone occurred in 38 per cent and angioedema alone in 6 per
cent. There was an equal sex distribution. Acute urticaria (93.2%) was more prevalent than chronic
urticaria (5.4% ), and the acute intermittent type was the most common. Heat, inhalants, and contactants
were more often suspected causes than food or drug allergy identified in both forms. More than half
the urticaria subjects treated themselves by buying over-the-counter drugs (66%) and the remainder
waited for spontaneous remission ( 49%) with a low percentage seeking medical advice
from a
general practitioner, 14% from a dermatologist). An atopic history was not a major underlying factor
for urticaria. Most patients with acute urticaria were free of symptoms after 3 weeks. Cases with
chronic urticaria who were completely healed had a mean disease duration of 14.2 weeks. However,
cases with chronic urticaria who had never had a long hive free period since the onset of the disease
until the time of the study had a mean disease duration of 6 years. These findings may be useful to help
educate affected persons and improve public awareness in order to prevent and manage this disease.
Key word : Urticaria, Angioedema, Medical Students

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