People who suffer from persistent asthma from a young age are more likely to lag behind in studies and drop out of school or university, a study has found.
The research also suggests that when this group of children grow up, they are less likely to work in certain non-manual occupations such as police officer, clerk or foreman.
“Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and we know that it can interfere with daily life and affect school attendance,” said Christian Schyllert, a clinician at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden.
“However, we know a lot less about the impact childhood asthma has on subsequent life chances in adulthood,” said Schyllert, a PhD student at Umea University in Sweden.
The research was based on children living in three districts in Sweden. In 1996, all children aged between seven and eight years were invited to participate in the study and 97 per cent agreed.
Participants were followed-up at age 11-12, 19 and 27-28 years. By 2015, researchers were still in contact with 2,291 (59 per cent) of participants.
At the start of the study and at each follow-up, researchers noted whether children had asthma. This meant they had been diagnosed with the condition by a doctor, and suffered wheezing or had taken asthma medication during the previous 12 months.
Children were considered to have ‘early-onset, persistent asthma’ if they were first diagnosed before the age of 12 years and were still suffering from asthma at 19 years old.
Researchers then compared this information with data on when children left education and which occupations they entered. They took into account other factors, such as sex, body weight and smoking, that could have an influence on education and work.
The analysis showed that children with early-onset persistent asthma were three and half times more likely than children without asthma to leave school at the age of 16 with only basic education.
They were also twice as likely to drop out of university before completing three years of study.
In terms of their careers, children with early-onset persistent asthma were less than half as likely to enter non-manual occupations, including clerk, nursing assistant, police officer, musician and foreman.
“This study suggests that children who are diagnosed with asthma when they are young and continue to suffer from the condition as they grow up have worse life chances when it comes to their education and their future jobs,” Schyllert said.
Source : https://www.deccanherald.com/international/children-asthma-less-likely-692918.html