Since 2001, the prevalence of asthma among children increased at a rate of 1.4 percent per year, rising to 7 million children by 2010, a report published late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Overall, the rate of asthma increased 2.9 each year, from 20.3 million people in 2001 to 25.7 million in 2010.
Asthma, a common childhood illness, has been linked to higher rates of school absenteeism, and from there to lower grades and test scores, my colleague Sarah D. Sparks has written over at the Inside School Research blog. Sarah noted that asthma itself may not be the sole reason behind low student achievement. The illness, more common among children living in poverty and from minority groups, may be a symptom of those children’s living conditions. These kids are also disproportionately more likely to attend schools with lower indoor air quality.