Impact of asthma and air pollution on school attendance of primary school children: Are they at increased risk of school absenteeism?

Bener A. , KAMAL M., SHANKS N. J.

JOURNAL OF ASTHMA, vol.44, no.4, pp.249-252, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02770900701246725
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF ASTHMA
  • Page Numbers: pp.249-252


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of asthma and air pollution on school attendance of primary school children 6 to 12 years of age in Qatar. Study design: This was a cross-sectional population-based study. Subjects: The total 31,400 Qatari school children at the primary school (16,130 boys and 15,270 girls) 6 to 12 of age were studied to investigate school absenteeism caused by asthma and wheezing during the academic year October 2003 to July 2004. Methods: We have used the School Health Registry for obtaining the student information and school absenteeism due to asthma and wheezing. Again we had double confirmation on the data obtained on asthmatic children by using the modified version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood [ISAAC] questionnaire. Results: A total of 3,270 (10.4%) pupils were diagnosed as having asthma and wheezing. Overall 2,516 (8.02%) pupils were absent from the school for at least one day during the year. There was a statistically significant difference between asthmatic and wheezing students in number of days absent from the school (p < 0.0001). Most absenteeism occurred during spring for both boys (45%) and girls (47%), followed by autumn for boys (33%) and girls (36%). The measured pollutants reached a peak during the spring season and then in autumn of the studied academic year. Conclusion: Children with known asthma miss more days of school than those who do not have asthma. This study finding shows that air pollution has an impact on asthma, which results in significant school absenteeism.