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Home Environment Affects Asthmatic Kids

SATURDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma who live in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to return to the hospital for treatment within a year than those who live in two-parent homes, a new study finds.

Kids from families whose annual income was less than $60,000 a year were also more likely to be readmitted, as were kids from homes with "time constraints."

The findings suggest that financial strain and competing priorities in single-parent homes are major issues, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers said.

The study was to be presented Saturday at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Boston.

"Parents play an important role in controlling their child's asthma and it takes time, energy and resources to follow their physician's treatment plan, including reducing triggers and consistently giving medicines," Dr. Terri Moncrief said in a college news release.

"That's why it's important to understand the constraints on single parents and identify innovative interventions to help these parents better manage their child's symptoms and ultimately keep asthma under control," Moncrief added.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Each year in the United States, uncontrolled asthma results in about 500,000 hospitalizations, 1.8 million emergency room visits and 10.5 million physician office visits, according to the ACAAI. In children, asthma accounts for nearly 13 million missed school days a year.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about asthma and children.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Nov. 5, 2011

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