Research in BioMed Central‘s open access journal Respiratory Research found that individuals with more education suffer less from asthma. Their recent study found that having less than 12 years of formal schooling is associated with worse asthma symptoms.

To conduct the study, Kim Lavoie, PhD, and Simon Bacon, PhD, from the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Canada, and their team of researchers studied asthma severity in a group of 871 adult patients.

"Lower educational achievement was associated with worse asthma control, greater emergency health service use, and worse asthma self-efficacy. Patients with less than 12 years of education were 55% more likely to report an asthma-related emergency health service visit in the last year," said the researchers.

The researchers suggest that lower education is often a marker of lower socioeconomic status generally, and that this may explain their results.

Although this link between socioeconomic status and asthma is well established in children, this is the first study to investigate it in an adult population in Canada. It is noteworthy that patients with less education were more likely to exhibit poor health behaviors that may exacerbate asthma, including smoking and being overweight," said Lavoie.