PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
To examine the associations of asthma symptoms and adolescents’ behaviors/characteristics and their effects on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
The sample analysis included 7063 adolescents, aged 12 to 17 years, who participated in the NHANES Survey in the United States.
Data were collected from 2001 to 2010 NHANES. HRQoL measures included self-rated health, physically and mentally unhealthy days, and activity limitation days. Asthma was classified as never having asthma, having asthma without symptoms, and having asthma with symptoms. Demographics, risk behaviors (eg, smoking, physical activity), BMI, and health insurance coverage were also factored. Corresponding percentages, prevalence ratios (PRs), and predicted days of the domains of HRQoL by the asthma categories were estimated.
Approximately 6.2% of adolescents reported having asthma without symptoms and 12.4% reported having asthma with symptoms. Adolescents with asthma and symptoms reported significantly worse self-rated health (13.58% vs 7.54% for fair or poor health), more physically unhealthy days (2.7 vs 2 days), and impaired mental health compared with those who never had asthma. Adolescents with asthma and symptoms who had limited physical functioning reported about 2.5 more physically and 2 more mentally unhealthy days than those who never had asthma and did not have limited physical functioning. Those who currently smoked reported about 1 more physically and 2.4 more mentally unhealthy days than those who never had asthma and did not smoke.
Adolescents with asthma and symptoms reported worse HRQoL. The interactions between adolescents’ smoking status and limited physical functioning and asthma status were significantly associated with physically and mentally unhealthy days.
Results are consistent with previous studies of asthma being adversely associated with almost all domains of HRQoL. This study reiterates the need for pediatricians to address quality of life as part of routine assessment and monitoring of asthma in adolescents. Although results are based on self-reported, cross-sectional analysis and associations might not be causal, important issues are raised. In addition to assisting in the control of asthma symptoms, pediatricians should encourage adolescents with asthma to quit smoking and improve physical functioning with the goal of improved physical and mental health.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics