Record high percentages of children in all grades levels from kindergarten to senior high school have asthma, according to a survey released Thursday by the Education Ministry.
All percentage points were the highest since the ministry began the annual survey in 1948, with the figure for elementary school children rising above 2 percentage points for the first time.
The disorder is most conspicuous in elementary schools, where one student in 43, or almost one child in every class, suffers from the respiratory condition, the survey said. “A combination of different factors, including stress, physical health, mites, pollen and air pollution, have contributed to this increase,” said Jun Kitazawa of the ministry’s physical education bureau.
The survey was conducted from April to June on children at 9,165 schools nationwide from kindergarten through high school. The ministry surveyed about 1.2 million students for data on asthma and other health problems, and about 700,000 students for statistics on physical development.
Children with asthma equal 1.3 percent of kindergarten students, 2.3 percent in elementary school, 1.6 percent in junior high school, and 1.1 percent in high school, the study said. These figures are 5 to 37 times the percentage points 35 years ago, and 2 to 3 times the percentage points 10 years ago, the study said.
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