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Uncontrolled Asthma High in Urban Schoolchildren

One in four black and one in five white schoolchildren have asthma in Arkansas study

FRIDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Urban schoolchildren have high levels of uncontrolled asthma, and a total of 27 percent of black and 19 percent of white children have physician-diagnosed or undiagnosed asthma, according to an Arkansas study published in the June issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Perla A. Vargas, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues analyzed data on 5,417 children, including 1,341 identified as at-risk for asthma.

Overall, 75 percent of children without asthma said they never had symptoms and said they never missed school, compared to 14 percent and 19 percent of children with asthma, respectively.

"Prevalence of active symptoms suggestive of poor asthma control was extremely high among urban, minority children enrolled in Arkansas' largest public school district. Poor asthma control greatly affects quality of life, including school attendance and performance. Interventions should raise expectations and emphasize the importance of achieving asthma control," the authors conclude.

"The results of this study are sobering and mirror those of many other studies," according to an editorial. "Not only is asthma more prevalent among children in inner cities, it is also more severe."

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