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Ambul Pediatr. 2001 Jul-Aug;1(4):201-5.

School readiness among urban children with asthma.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY 14642, USA.



Children with chronic illnesses, including asthma, are at risk for school problems. Developmental problems, however, may begin before school entry, and the developmental status of preschool children with asthma has not been evaluated.


To test the hypothesis that urban preschool children with asthma have lower parent-reported developmental scores compared with children without asthma.


A comprehensive survey of children beginning kindergarten in 1998 in the urban school system in Rochester, NY, collected parent reports of demographic, medical, and developmental data. We compared children with asthma with and without limitation of activity to children without asthma for motor, language, socioemotional, and school readiness skills and the need for extra help with learning. Linear and logistic regression were used to determine associations between asthma and developmental outcomes.


Among the 1058 children in this sample, 9% had asthma, including 5% with asthma with limitation of activity. After adjustment for multiple potential confounding variables, the children with asthma with limitation had lower scores on school readiness skills compared with children without asthma (2.0 vs 2.5, P <.001). Further, the parents of children with asthma with limitation were substantially more likely (P <.05) to describe them as needing extra help with learning (74% vs 56%; odds ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.5--7.8).


Urban preschool children with significant asthma had poorer parent-reported school readiness skills and a greater need for extra help with learning compared with children without asthma. This finding suggests that developmental problems for children with asthma may begin before school entry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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