Aims: To explore associations of deprivation and smoking, with prevalence of asthma, wheeze, and quality of life.
Methods: Survey, using International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) methodology, of children aged 13-14 years attending Scottish schools previously surveyed in 1995.
Results: 4665/5247 (89%) pupils completed questionnaires. 3656/4665 (78.4%) had missed school for any reason in the last 12 months, 587 (12.6%) because of asthma or wheeze. Compared to children with 1-3 wheeze attacks per year, those with > 12 attacks in the last year were more likely to have missed school, twice as likely to have missed physical education in the last month, to report interference with home activities, or to have visited accident and emergency departments, and three times more likely to have been hospitalised. Deprivation was not independently associated with self-reported asthma or wheeze, but was associated with school absence, either for any reason or specifically for asthma or wheeze, but not with use of services such as accident and emergency visits, doctor visits, or hospital admissions. Active smoking was associated with wheezy symptoms, and active and passive smoking with use of medical services. These associations were independent of wheeze severity, treatment taken, and other associated atopic conditions. Smoking also had an impact on school absence and home and school activities.
Conclusions: Deprivation does not affect the prevalence of asthma or wheeze. Exposure to cigarette smoke was associated with the increased use of services. Deprivation and smoking have independent adverse effects on the quality of life in subjects with asthma or wheeze.
- CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
- RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
- SCHOOL ABSENCE