Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Asthma Rates And Where You Live

Date:
June 8, 2009
Source:
Children's Memorial Hospital
Summary:
A new study shows how neighborhood characteristics play a significant role in childhood asthma.

Neighborhoods with restaurants, entertainment, cultural facilities and ethnic diversity have lower asthma rates in the city of Chicago than neighborhoods where residents are less likely to move, and where there are more churches and not-for-profit facilities.

Published in the spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the two-year study led by Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, a researcher at Children's Memorial Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, showed that neighborhoods with more community vitality, specifically economic potential, community amenities and social capital had lower asthma rates. The study focused on 287 Chicago neighborhoods, where nearly 50,000 children grades K-8 were screened for asthma. Asthma is the leading chronic childhood illness, affecting more than 9 million children nationwide. Chicago has twice the national average asthma mortality rate.

"Previous studies showed that neighborhoods right next to each other with similar racial makeup had very different asthma rates; we wanted to see what else was going on in each neighborhood to cause such a disparity," said Gupta. "So we looked at specific factors in each neighborhood."

Ethnically diverse communities with greater potential for economic development that were civically engaged, meaning that there were high percentages of registered voters had low asthma rates while stable communities, defined as communities where residents were less likely to move, with more social interaction had higher asthma rates. Although it is not entirely clear how these factors affect health outcomes, previous research has shown that asthma and other chronic illnesses of childhood are associated with poverty, which may explain why communities with low asthma rates had a greater capacity for economic growth. Researchers suspect that the association between neighborhood stability and asthma may indicate that homes in which residents are less likely to move receive less frequent and thorough cleanings, leading to an accumulation of indoor pollutants known to trigger asthma. Similarly, the association of higher interaction potential and increased asthma may signify overcrowding, which also leads to increased indoor pollutants.

Besides community influence, other factors that affect the rate of childhood asthma include income and education, housing problems with sensitivities to cockroaches, dust mites, mice and rats, exposure to air pollution and individual factors. A collaboration of many factors may ultimately cause asthma.

"With these insights, we are better equipped to develop more effective interventions to help reduce asthma in children living in urban environments," said Gupta.

Information on the neighborhoods was gathered from the Metro Chicago Information Center. Gupta collaborated on this study with Xingyou Zhang, PhD, Lisa K Sharp, PhD, John J Shannon, MD, and Kevin B Weiss, MD, MPH. In a currently ongoing study, Gupta is further investigating the true importance of these protective factors by talking to and surveying residents in a Chicago neighborhood with a high childhood asthma rate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Memorial Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Memorial Hospital. "Asthma Rates And Where You Live." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605133620.htm>.
Children's Memorial Hospital. (2009, June 8). Asthma Rates And Where You Live. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605133620.htm
Children's Memorial Hospital. "Asthma Rates And Where You Live." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090605133620.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins