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More effective home heating reduces school absences for children with asthma


New Zealand homes are underheated by international standards, with average indoor temperatures below the WHO recommended minimum of 188C. Research has highlighted the connection between low indoor temperatures and adverse health outcomes, including social functioning and psychological well-being. Both health effects and social effects can impact on school absence rates. The aim of this study was to determine whether more effective home heating affects school absence for children with asthma. Complete absence data were obtained for 269 out of 409 children. Compared with the control group, children in households receiving the intervention experienced on average 21% (p¼0.02) fewer days of absence after allowing for the effects of other factors. More effective, non-indoor polluting heating therefore reduces school absence for asthmatic children.