Asthma and Respiratory Dysfunction among Urban, Primarily Hispanic School Children

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ABSTRACT.A screening program identified children with poorly managed asthma or respiratory dysfunction. Children in grades 2-5 in all Passaic, New Jersey, schools were eligible for screening with questionnaires and a biometric test. Those with risk factors or failed biometric screening were referred to primary care providers. Of the 6,579 eligible children, 3,657 (56%) had parental questionnaires returned and 3,834 (58%) were biometrically screened. Over the 4-yr study period, 6-22% of children were previously diagnosed with asthma. Approximately 20% of children demonstrated peak flow measures <75% of predicted values. Predictors of a prior diagnosis of asthma and a medical treatment plan for asthma management were health care coverage and ethnicity. Predictors of peak flow test failure were the presence of roaches and mold in the home, pesticide use, and a family member with asthma.

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