The study, published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found that children, especially Latino children, who missed sleep because of asthma were frequently absent from school, visited the emergency room more often and experienced limitation in sports. Lead author of the study, Lauren Daniel, Ph.D., explained:
"Children with asthma from urban backgrounds are at increased risk of disrupted sleep, which can greatly impact their daytime functioning. It is important for parents and healthcare providers to routinely monitor sleep in children with asthma to minimize sleep disruptions and ensure proper asthma control."
In addition, the team found that poverty and neighborhood disadvantage in urban living environments can negatively affect asthma control.
The study, conducted at the Bradley Hasbro Research Center of Brown Medical School, involved parents of 147 children aged between 6 to 13 years old.
The team found that when a child's asthma was not well controlled, their quality of life significantly decreased. In addition, they found that children suffering from high anxiety and general worries had difficulty falling back to sleep after wakening from asthma symptoms, thus affecting their daily activities.
Symptoms of asthma include:
- Coughing, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
"Proper asthma care and management can minimize the risk of nighttime symptoms which disrupt sleep. Board-certified allergists are the best-trained professionals to treat asthma. Allergists will help children and their parents develop a treatment plan that will reduce school absences and hospital visits and increase productivity and overall quality of life."
According to the ACAAI, improved outcomes with care from an allergist include:
- 54% to 76% reduction in emergency room visits
- 60% to 89% reduction in hospitalizations
- 77% reduction in lost time from school
Written by Grace Rattue