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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-8

A comparison of the academic performance and intelligence scores of asthmatic and nonasthmatic primary school pupils in Enugu State, Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Obinna Chukwuebuka Nduagubam
Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_1_19

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Background: Children with asthma (subjects), just as their non asthmatic colleagues, are expected to perform optimally academically and with a good intelligent score. A number of activities in children with asthma may be affected by asthmatic attacks including their education/academic performance. Report on academic performance and IQ of school children with asthma and comparisons with those without asthma (controls) within and outside Nigeria are scanty. Aims: This study compared the academic performance and IQ of asthmatics and nonasthmatic school children. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty children with asthma aged 5-11 years were consecutively recruited at the asthma clinic of UNTH Enugu and their age, gender and socio-economic class-matched normal classmates were enrolled as controls. Academic performance of the children with asthma was studied using the overall scores achieved in the three term examinations in the preceding academic year (2012/2013), while their IQ was determined using the Draw-A-Person-test. The findings were compared with that of the 120 controls. Results: The median (range) overall academic scores for the subjects 79.04% (36.08%-99.57%) was similar to that of controls 80.01% (50.65%-97.47%) (U = 6804, P = 0.461). However, a significant number of subjects compared to controls had poor academic performance. The mean IQ scores for subjects (123.28 ± 21.45) and controls (118.41 ± 19.87) did not differ significantly (t = 1.83; P = 0.069). There was also a significant and negative correlation (Pearson's) between age and mean DAPQ in both the subjects and controls (r = -0.377, P < 0.001; r = -0.492, P < 0.001 respectively. Conclusions: The intelligence scores and overall academic performance of children with asthma compares favorably with that of children without asthma.

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