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April 21, 1993

Functional Status in Children With Asthma

Author Affiliations

Wisconsin Division of Health Madison

JAMA. 1993;269(15):1941. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500150049017

To the Editor.  —Weitzman et al1 report that asthma prevalence has increased among children and that this increase resulted from greater recognition of less severe cases. We believe that the data presented do not support the latter conclusion.First, the measures of child health and functioning were asked of all children and were not specifically linked to asthma. It may be, as was acknowledged by the authors, that the parents' responses to these questions changed because of changes in the survey design or questionnaire wording between the 2 years.To control for these differences, the authors compared responses from four of the 55 questions about health conditions that were asked in 1981 and again in 1988. Because of the small sample size, however, there was inadequate power to detect a change in the measures of health and functioning among this subgroup of children. In fact, the 95% confidence intervals