CHEST 2007: Uncontrolled Asthma Leads to Absenteeism

Uncontrolled patients have doubled or tripled rates of school and work absences

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adults with uncontrolled asthma have two to three times as many asthma-related school and work absences as patients with controlled asthma, according to research presented this week at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians in Chicago.

David Tinkelman, M.D., of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, and colleagues analyzed six-month absenteeism rates in 13,499 patients enrolled in the center's disease management program for asthma, including 1,990 children, 1,689 pediatric caregivers and 5,386 adults who were classified as controlled, and 1,038 children, 846 pediatric caregivers and 5,084 adults who were classified as uncontrolled.

The researchers found that controlled pediatric patients missed an average of 2.6 school days while controlled pediatric patient caregivers and adult patients missed an average of 0.67 and 1.51 work days, respectively. They also found that uncontrolled pediatric patients missed an average of 6.39 school days while uncontrolled pediatric patient caregivers and adult patients missed an average of 1.93 and 4.65 work days, respectively.

"Adequately treating and controlling asthma symptoms can potentially reduce absenteeism among pediatric and adult patients with asthma and caregivers of pediatric patients," the authors conclude.

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