Asthma-Related School Absenteeism, Morbidity, and Modifiable Factors
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Asthma-Related School Absenteeism, Morbidity, and Modifiable Factors
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  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Prev Med
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    Background Asthma is a leading cause of chronic disease-related school absenteeism. Little data exist on how information on absenteeism might be used to identify children for interventions to improve asthma control. This study investigated how asthma-related absenteeism was associated with asthma control, exacerbations, and associated modifiable risk factors using a sample of children from 35 states and the District of Columbia. Methods The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Child Asthma Call-back Survey is a random-digit dialing survey designed to assess the health and experiences of children aged 0–17 years with asthma. During 2014–2015, multivariate analyses were conducted using 2006–2010 data to compare children with and without asthma-related absenteeism with respect to clinical, environmental, and financial measures. These analyses controlled for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Results Compared to children without asthma-related absenteeism, children who missed any school because of asthma were more likely to have not well controlled or very poorly controlled asthma (prevalence ratio: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.34–1.69) and visit an emergency department or urgent care center for asthma (prevalence ratio: 3.27; 95% CI: 2.44–4.38). Mold in the home and cost as a barrier to asthma-related health care were also significantly associated with asthma-related absenteeism. Conclusions Missing any school because of asthma was associated with suboptimal asthma control, urgent or emergent asthma-related health care utilization, mold in the home, and financial barriers to asthma-related health care. Further understanding of asthma-related absenteeism could establish how to most effectively use absenteeism information as a health status indicator.
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