MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joy Hsu, MD, MS
Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch
Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects
National Center for Environmental Health
CDC Atlanta GA 30341
Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Hsu: Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days related to chronic illness.
This study is based on survey data from 2006 to 2010 on children aged 17 years and younger with asthma from 35 states and the District of Columbia.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Hsu: Approximately half of children in school with current asthma missed at least one school day because of asthma in the past 12 months. These children were more likely to be Black or Hispanic and live in households with incomes of less than $25,000 per year, compared with children with asthma who did not miss school for asthma in the past year. Reports of not being able to buy asthma medication or see a doctor for asthma because of cost were more frequent among children who missed school because of asthma. Also, reported signs of mold in the home in the past 30 days were more common among children who missed school for asthma, compared to those who did not.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Hsu: For clinicians, reports of missing school because of asthma in the past 12 months by children or their families might be useful for identifying children with specific needs, such as assistance in overcoming cost as a barrier to asthma-related health care or in assessing their homes for mold. Other interventions recommended by 2007 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines might also benefit these children.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Hsu: Further understanding of asthma-related missed school, including extended and repeated absences, could establish how to most effectively use information about missed school as a health status indicator.
Joy Hsu, MD, MS (2016). Minority Kids With Asthma Likely To Miss Days of School