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Prevalence of Asthma Up for Children With Disability

Odds of asthma significantly higher for children with a disability or delay versus typically growing children

child with asthma inhaler

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of asthma is about 10 percent higher for children with versus those without a disability, according to a study published online June 16 in JAMA Network Open.

Luyu Xie, Pharm.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in Dallas, and colleagues reported asthma prevalence estimates by various disability categories and developmental delays in a population-based cross-sectional study involving 71,811 families with children or adolescents aged 0 to 17 years.

Of the sample, 7.9 percent had asthma and 15.3 percent had at least one disability. The researchers found that overall asthma prevalence estimates were about 10 percent higher for children with versus without a disability (16.1 versus 6.5 percent). Compared with typically growing children, the odds of asthma were significantly higher for children with a disability or delay (odds ratios, 2.77 and 2.22, respectively). For all disability categories, adjusted models remained significant (overall adjusted odds ratio, 2.21). Compared with non-Hispanic whites, ethnic minorities had a higher prevalence of concurrent asthma and developmental disabilities (19.8 versus 12.6 percent).

"These results can inform pediatric clinical practice about the importance of screening for asthma among patients with various developmental disabilities or delay, which may increase the quality of life and decrease the economic burden due to undiagnosed asthma or disabilities," the authors write.

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