Daily school attendance has been suggested as a health status measure for children. The present study compares school absence in children known to have asthma (N = 95) with a random sample of nonasthmatic elementary schoolchildren (N = 711). The differences in average percentage of days absent over one year were analyzed by comparing both groups' conditioning on ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, and grade. Children with asthma have a significantly higher absentee rate (absent 8.4% of days) than do nonasthmatic children (absent 5.9% of days) (P .001). This significant difference holds true regardless of ethnicity or sex and for most socioeconomic groups. A comparison by grade level shows a similar trend for children with asthma and nonasthmatic children: absentee rates decrease as children get older; however, except for one grade level, children with asthma have a greater percentage of school days absent. Mean absentee rates for children with asthma were different when compared according to their mother's percept of severity of asthma-mild (6.9), moderate (7.9%), and severe (13.9%).
- Received February 10, 1979.
- Accepted April 5, 1979.
- Copyright © 1979 by the American Academy of Pediatrics