Asthma impairs sleep, performance in schoolchildren

5 cute kids on their tummiesThe negative effects of poorly controlled asthma symptoms on sleep quality and academic performance in urban schoolchildren have been confirmed in a new study.

The results of the study were presented in May at the American Thoracic Society’s 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia.

The study included data on 170 sets of parents and children from urban and African-American, Latino and non-Latino white backgrounds who reside in the Providence, R.I., area.

Asthma symptoms were assessed over three 30-day monitoring periods and a brief questionnaire was used to measure asthma control in children. Academic functioning was assessed by teacher reports during the same monitoring periods.

Compared with children with well-controlled asthma, those with poorly controlled asthma had lower quality schoolwork and were more careless with their schoolwork, according to teacher reports. Higher self-reported and objectively measured asthma symptom levels were associated with lower quality schoolwork. Poorer sleep quality also was associated with careless schoolwork. In addition, students who struggled to stay awake in class had a more difficult time falling asleep.

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