The Association of Childhood Asthma with Mental Health and Developmental Comorbidities in Low-Income Families

RUHRC Authors: Arif, A
Publication Date: 03/15/2016
Full Publication: The Association of Childhood Asthma with Mental Health and Developmental Comorbidities in Low-Income Families

Abstract

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the relationship of childhood asthma with mental health and developmental indicators in low-income families.

Methods: Parents/guardians of approximately 400 children, aged 2–14 years, were recruited from a charity hospital serving low income neighborhoods in the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. Mothers of children were interviewed in their local language by a trained nurse. Eight self-reported comorbidities were grouped into two constructs based on factor analysis and conveniently labeled as mental health (anxiety, attention and behavioral problems) and developmental problems (learning, developmental delay, hearing impairment, sleep and speech problems). Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, presence of older siblings, number of people in the household, child birth weight, presence of mold, and family history of asthma or hay fever.

Results: Children with asthma had 18 times greater odds of mental health problems (adjusted OR = 18.0, 95% CI: 9.2, 35.1) as compared to children without asthma. The odds of developmental problems were more than 14 times greater for children with asthma (adjusted OR = 14.3, 95% CI: 7.8, 26.1) as compared to children without asthma.

Conclusions: This study found mental and developmental adverse consequences of childhood asthma in low-income families. Identifying and treating asthma at an early age could reduce the burden of comorbidities in this population.

Suggested Citation

Arif AA, Korgaonkar P. The Association of Childhood Asthma with Mental Health and Developmental Comorbidities in Low-Income Families. J Asthma. 2016;53(3):277-281.