Effect of Asthma and Air Quality on Missed School Days: Findings from the Asthma 411 School Initiative
Using data from the Fort Worth Independent School District, this study quantifies the relationship between asthma status and school absences; and examines the association between exposure to poor ambient air quality and missed school days.
Data (N = 1628) including the number of school days missed and attended, actual absence dates, and student demographics were collected from one elementary and one middle school in Fort Worth, Texas. Counts of sets of consecutive missed school days were modeled using negative binomial regression; the relationship between proportion of missed school days and asthma was assessed using multivariable linear regression; and partial correlation analysis is being used to identify the relationship between exposure to poor ambient air quality and missed school days. All analyses are conducted using SAS 9.3.
For both count models analyzed, children with asthma have rate ratios of 1.26 (p-value = .050) and 1.24 (p-value = .098) for sets of consecutive missed school days. Adjusting for demographic variables, children with asthma miss, on average, 30% more school days that those without asthma (p-value <.01). We hypothesize a positive correlation between absences and poor ambient air quality, with a lag period of 2 days, although we will also evaluate lags of 0, 1, and 3.
Policies are needed to reduce the impact of asthma on children’s school experience, such as measures to strengthen school asthma services and reduce exposures to environmental triggers.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Compare the average set of consecutive missed school days between children with and without asthma. Describe the differential impact of asthma on the proportion of missed school days controlling for other demographic factors. Discuss the relationship between exposure to poor environmental air quality measures and missed school days.
Keyword(s): Asthma, School-Based Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Doctor of Public Health student at the University of North Texas - Health Science Center. Our team conducted and analyzed the data of asthma among high risk students and absenteeism.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.