Monday, 27 March 2017

A ten year study of childhood asthma

Roger Watson, Editor

It seems obvious that the incidence of childhood and adolescent asthma is increasing. Certainly, asthma is a major health problem worldwide with up to 300 million people suffering. In children, asthma lowers health status and this effect may be worse in girls than in boys. Asthma leads to feelings of being left out and anger.

This study from Sweden by Stridsman et al. (2017) titled: ‘Asthma inadolescence affects daily life and school attendance – Two cross-sectionalpopulation-based studies 10 years apart’ and published in Nursing Open aimed: ‘to study the impact of asthma on daily life, school absenteeism and physical education. In addition, to describe asthma triggers at school.’ The study was carried out in 2003 and 2013 and involved over 3000 adolescents in the first round and over 2000 in the second round.

The authors report: ‘The prevalence of current asthma in 2003 was 8% (girls 8% vs. boys 8% p = .864) and in 2013, 11% (girls 12% vs. boys 11% p = .337). The proportion of adolescents who reported that their respiratory symptoms/asthma had an impact on daily life increased from 64% in 2003, to 70% in 2013 (test for trend, p = .008) (Figure 1). In 2013, the proportion reporting that asthma had an impact on daily life was higher among girls than boys (86% vs. 71%; test for trend p = .039). However, no differences according to sex were found in 2003. In conclusion, the authors say: ‘this study showed that still in 2013, asthma affects adolescents’ daily lives in school and both school attendance and physical education are negatively affected by the disease and its symptoms.’

Reference

Stridsman C, Dahlberg E, Zandr̩n K, Hedmann L (2017) Asthma in adolescenceaffects daily life and school attendance РTwo cross-sectional population-basedstudies 10 years apart Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.77