New research, published in the online edition of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, has revealed that the UK General Practitioners offices are registering nearly triple the number of visits related to asthma in September, right after the beginning of the school year.
The phenomenon known as “back to school” asthma is predominantly observed among children between five and fourteen years old and mostly associated with boys.
Researchers observed the work schedules of GP’s around the country and found out that during school holidays, the appointments made concerning asthma and similar conditions fall in numbers. However, soon after the school year has begun, and right after major holidays, appointments regarding asthma nearly triple.
Throughout the whole duration of the research (2012-2016) researches noticed that the setback between the start of the school year and the manifestation of the “back to school” asthma phenomenon is between one week and seventeen days.
While the reentering into a more stressful environment with the beginning of the school year is one of the leading causes of this phenomenon, researchers also point out that the peaks in asthma cases during Autumn can be attributed to the spreading of seasonal fungi.
Regardless of the causes, the “back to school” asthma phenomenon is a fact, and the main conclusion of the research team is that:
These results support the need for further preventable work to reduce the impact of [back to school] asthma in children.
Hopefully, this research will raise awareness of the problem and inspire further work on methods to prevent asthma outbreaks.