-- Alan Mozes
TUESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Urban elementary school
children with poorly controlled asthma are likely to experience
sleep problems and suffer academically, new research indicates.
"In our sample of urban schoolchildren, aged seven to nine, we found that compromised lung function corresponded with both poor sleep efficiency and impaired academic performance," said study author Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University's Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I.
Koinis-Mitchell, who is also an associate professor of
pediatrics, is scheduled to present her findings Tuesday at the
American Thoracic Society annual meeting in Philadelphia.
The findings stem from an analysis involving 170 pairs of white,
black and Hispanic children and their fathers living in the
The children's asthma symptoms were monitored over three-month
periods, and the children and their parents were asked to keep a
health diary as well.
Questionnaires were also completed to gauge the degree to which
asthmatic symptoms were kept under control. Sleep quality was also
monitored and quantified.
The result: Children with poorly controlled asthma fared worse
at school, according to their teachers. "Carelessness" regarding
school work was also linked to poorer sleep, as was difficulty in
staying awake while in class.
"Urban and ethnic minority children are at an increased risk for high levels of asthma morbidity and frequent health care utilization due to asthma. Given the high level of asthma burden in these groups, and the effects that urban poverty can have on the home environments and the neighborhoods of urban families, it is important to identify modifiable targets for intervention," Koinis-Mitchell said in a news release from the thoracic society.
Efforts aimed at improving asthma control and sleep quality may
help to boost academic performance in this vulnerable population,
she added. "In addition, school-level interventions can involve
identifying children with asthma who miss school often, appear
sleepy and inattentive during class or who have difficulty with
school work. Working collaboratively with the school system, as
well as the child and family, may ultimately enhance the child's
asthma control," she said.
Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically
considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical
For more on asthma and children, visit the
American Lung Association.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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