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Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1679-86. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.165324. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

The impact of school building conditions on student absenteeism in Upstate New York.

Author information

1
Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Troy, NY, USA. esimons@medscape.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated Upstate New York school building conditions and examined the associations between school absenteeism and building condition problems.

METHODS:

We merged data from the 2005 Building Condition Survey of Upstate New York schools with 2005 New York State Education Department student absenteeism data at the individual school level and evaluated associations between building conditions and absenteeism at or above the 90th percentile.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for confounders, student absenteeism was associated with visible mold (odds ratio [OR]=2.22; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.34, 3.68), humidity (OR=3.07; 95% CI=1.37, 6.89), poor ventilation (OR=3.10; 95% CI=1.79, 5.37), vermin (OR=2.23; 95% CI=1.32, 3.76), 6 or more individual building condition problems (OR=2.97; 95% CI=1.84, 4.79), and building system or structural problems related to these conditions. Schools in lower socioeconomic districts and schools attended by younger students showed the strongest associations between poor building conditions and absenteeism.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found associations between student absenteeism and adverse school building conditions. Future studies should confirm these findings and prioritize strategies for school condition improvements.

PMID:
20634471
PMCID:
PMC2920982
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.165324
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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