Problems Can Plague Children with AsthmaWhile
a lot is being done in the area of research to address asthma conditions
in children, little is being done to address other problems often
associated with children and asthma, like depression and ADHD (Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
at the University of Virginia Children’s
Hospital aimes to improve awareness of these issues so that education
programs can be enhanced to help children better cope with Asthma.
"We can definitively state that families with asthmatic children
not only report higher incidences of ADHD, but also of depression,
anxiety and learning disabilities," said Dr. James Blackman,
developmental pediatrician at the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation
Center at UVa Children’s Hospital and lead study author. "If
we can manage these co-morbidities, we can better help children
with asthma and their families to manage the disease in the healthiest
Co-morbidities is a term used to describe the
effect of all other diseases or problems an individual patient
might have other than the primary disease of interest. Co-morbidities
indicates a medical condition in a patient that causes or is otherwise
related to another condition in the same patient.
The study uncovered
depression, anxiety, behavioural problems, and learning disabilities
as co-morbidities common among children with asthma. The more
severe the child’s asthma was, the
higher the incidence of these types of problems. More than 10 percent
of asthmatic children experienced problems that lasted longer than
a year and required counseling or treatment. What’s more,
these children often missed ten or more days of school, leading
parents and caregivers to worry about their children’s healthy
academic and emotional development.
also is important about this research is that it shows how asthma
can lead to psychosocial disadvantages for children in our society," adds
Blackman. Blackman believes that children with asthma need to
receive tailored and precise treatments addressing their physical
and mental and developmental health. This could lead to fewer
missed days in school and fewer calls home to parents for behavioural
and academic problems.
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