Background. The purpose of this analysis was to examine potential associations between absence, extended (repeated) absence, tardiness, and repeated tardiness from school and doctor-diagnosed asthma. Methods. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using data collected in fall 2007 on 914 4th and 5th grade school children from seven randomly selected participating schools in DeKalb County, GA. ANOVA was used to compare attendance metrics for race, gender, and asthma status groups. Nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis statistical tests were also done because distributions of attendance metrics were skewed. We tallied daily absence data during the study period and examined absence by day of week. We also compared the variation of the weekly rate of absence and tardiness for students with asthma versus students without asthma over the study period. Results. The mean days of absence in 86 students with asthma was 2.73 days compared with 1.89 days for 828 children without asthma (p =.004). There was no significant difference in mean days of tardiness by asthma status. The difference in the number of instances of 2+ consecutive days of absence (extended absence) by asthma status was not significant. Students with asthma were more likely to be absent on Mondays (p =.005), Tuesdays (p =.001), and Fridays (p =.02) than students without asthma. The weekly rate of tardiness for students with asthma trended with the general student study population over the study period, whereas the weekly rate of absence did not. Conclusions. Asthma was associated with increased 1-day absences but not longer absences or tardiness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- child and adolescent health
- community health