Childhood asthma and student performance at school

J Sch Health. 2005 Oct;75(8):296-312. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2005.00041.x.


To better understand what is known about the association between childhood asthma, school attendance, and academic outcomes, the authors reviewed published studies investigating this topic. Tables with brief descriptions of each study's research methodology and outcomes are included. Research reveals evidence that rates of absenteeism are higher among students with asthma. The exact magnitude of absenteeism is difficult to ascertain. However, the studies have helped to identify characteristics of children with asthma that are most likely to be associated with the highest absenteeism rates. Some interventions to improve rates of absenteeism among school-aged children with asthma show promise, but it cannot yet be concluded that students who adhere to medical routines for controlling asthma will as a result increase their rates of attendance. Studies thus far have shown that there is either only a weak or nonexistent association between asthma and school achievement. Further studies are required to verify if certain subpopulations of children with asthma (eg, those with severe and ongoing symptoms, those with disturbed sleep, kindergarten children) are at higher risk for poor school achievement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Asthma*
  • Child
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • School Health Services*