JOURNAL OF ASTHMA, cilt.31, ss.93-98, 1994 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
A survey was conducted on children attending 30 primary schools (15 each for boys ad girls) in Al-Ain City of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assess the impact of asthma on school absenteeism. There are 28,447 primary school children (50% boys and 50% girls) aged 6-14 years in the Al-Ain Educational District, all of whose school health records were investigated with respect to school absence caused by asthma during the academic year 1991-1992. Results showed that overall 1910 (6.7%) pupils were diagnosed as having asthma and wheezing during the preceding year by school doctors and nurses. Out of 14,217 boys, 1146 (8.1%) had asthma and wheezing, and 764 of 14,230 girls (5.4%) had the same condition. Overall 1,255 (4.9%) pupils were absent from school for at least 1 day during the year. Of 1146 boys with wheezing or asthma, 707 (62%) missed at least 1 day of school due to asthma, and of 764 girls who were asthmatic or wheezing, 548 (72%) missed school for at least 1 day in the year. There was a very highly statistically significant difference between sexes of children who were asthmatic or wheezing and missed school at least 1 day (p < 0.0001). Absenteeism most commonly occurred during spring for both boys (42%) and girls (45%). Absence from school due to asthma occurred least during autumn for both boys (26%) and girls (22%). This study confirms that asthma is a common chronic disease among primary school children in Al-Ain, UAE, and is a common cause of absenteeism from school.