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Sleep Loss Often Disruptive for City Kids With Asthma

-- Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep loss is common among children with asthma who live in cities, and it is a major reason for missed school days, emergency room visits and lower levels of involvement in sports, according to new research.

This is especially true for Hispanic children, according to the study, which included the parents of nearly 150 children with asthma treated at the Bradley Hasbro Research Center at Brown Medical School in Providence, R.I.

"Children with asthma from urban backgrounds are at increased risk of disrupted sleep, which can greatly impact their daytime functioning," study lead author Lauren Daniel said in an American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology news release.

"It is important for parents and health care providers to routinely monitor sleep in children with asthma to minimize sleep disruptions and ensure proper asthma control," she added.

Asthma accounts for 10.5 million missed school days each year in the United States, according to the ACAAI.

Children with high levels of anxiety and general worries had trouble getting back to sleep after being awakened during the night by asthma symptoms. The study also found that parents said their quality of life was considerably lower when their child's asthma was not well controlled.

The findings were published in the July issue of the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

"Proper asthma care and management can minimize the risk of nighttime symptoms that disrupt sleep," Dr. Stanley Fineman, president of the ACAAI, said in the news release. "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."

Children with asthma who are under the care of an allergist may have 54 percent to 76 percent fewer emergency room visits, 60 percent to 89 percent fewer hospitalizations and miss 77 percent less time from school, according to the ACAAI.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about children and asthma.

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