Study: Self-reported asthma among U.S. adolescents

Merkle S, Jones SE, Wheeler L, Mannino D. 2005. Self-reported Asthma Among High School Students–United States, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR), 54 (31): 765-767. This study used cross-sectional data from the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, an anonymous, self-reported instrument conducted among a nationally representative sample, which included two questions about asthma related to lifetime asthma (doctor-diagnosed asthma ever), current asthma (related specifically to last 12 months), and asthma episodes/attacks among those with current asthma during the 12 months prior to the survey. 13222 students between 9-12 grades answered both questions; 13553 answered only question one and 13232 answered only question two. The overall response rate was 67% (81% at school level, 83% at student level). Data were weighted to provide national estimates. Overall, about one in five adolescens had lifetime asthma, and about one in six adolescents had current asthma. More females (44.5%) than males (31.1%) reported an asthma episode or attack in last 12 months; the 95% confidence interval for reported percentages for both genders was +/- 3.9%. Overall, across gender, lifetime asthma was highest among Blacks and lowest among Hispanics (several ethnic groups combined), and higher among 9th graders than 10th-12th graders, who were similar. To read the paper, please see: //www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5431a1.htm

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