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November 1989

Theophylline and School Performance-Reply

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(11):1258-1259. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150230016004

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In Reply—The major finding of our study was that children with moderate to severe asthma had average to slightly above average scores for academic performance. Only a small percentage of children scored less than 1 SD below the mean for either reading or math. Having performance scores at the lower end of these relatively normal values did correlate with certain features of the asthma, as reiterated by DuHamel and Furukawa in their letter. A number of other variables defining asthma and its treatment, including "medication being taken at the time of the evaluation" were considered, but "did not correlate with performance" (p 474). Use of theophylline medication was recorded (Table 1, p 472) and included in this analysis. Theophylline medication may not have correlated with performance because such a high percentage (94%) of the children were using the medication. It is also possible that theophylline had an effect on performance, but

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