Kids' Asthma Flare-ups Spike in September

Pharmacy Times, April 2014 Allergy & Asthma, Volume 80, Issue 4

Heading back to school after summer vacation may increase the risk for asthma exacerbations among children with the condition, the results of a recent study suggest.

Heading back to school after summer vacation may increase the risk for asthma exacerbations among children with the condition, the results of a recent study conducted in Israel suggest.

The retrospective study, published online on March 10, 2014, in Pediatrics, evaluated seasonal variations in asthma exacerbations and prescriptions for asthma medications in a large group of children aged 2 to 15 years. Data from 2005 to 2009 were collected from medical records of family physicians.

The results indicated that during September, asthma symptoms worsened. Compared with August, rates for asthma exacerbations doubled and prescriptions for asthma bronchodilator medications saw a 2.28-fold increase in September. Children were also significantly more likely to make asthma-related visits to their primary care providers at the start of the school year. Kids aged 2 to 5 years were 2.15 times more likely to make asthma-related visits after returning to school, while a 1.90-fold increase was observed among those aged 6 to 11 years.

The results of the study support the suspicions of many health care professionals who have recognized a peak in asthma activity in September. The fall allergy season and the greater exposure to infections children face at school are just 2 of the many factors that may be responsible for this increase in asthma flare-ups.