In an exclusive study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that, in the metro areas of Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and San Francisco, children living in the areas with the lowest asthma rates are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as children in the more populated areas.
The researchers also found that children living at or near the top of the asthma charts are three times more likely to die from the disease than those living in low-income and minority neighborhoods.
“The bottom line is, these areas have really low asthma rates,” Dr. Michael Pfeifer, the lead author of the study and a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, told Al Jazeera.
“They are the most disadvantaged areas.
They are the least educated.”
Dr Pfeiffer and his colleagues examined data from more than 30 million children from 2009 to 2015, using the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Immunization Survey (NIS).
They identified more than 10 million children in those regions who had asthma at any time during their childhood.
They then compared the number of children living there with the number living in metropolitan areas with similar populations.
They found that areas with low asthma were also the most likely to have high rates of poverty and a higher rate of race-based segregation.
The study also found the regions with the highest asthma rates were also those with the largest number of black children, who were less likely to get diagnosed with asthma than other groups.
Dr Piffer said that the results were consistent with previous studies, which had suggested the risk of asthma for black children was higher than for white children.
“You have these neighborhoods where the white children are much more likely than black children to have asthma,” he said.
“So they are at a higher risk of being diagnosed.”
Dr David Fergusson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and a former CDC epidemiologist, said the findings were interesting and needed to be considered.
“If we want to improve asthma, we need to improve our public health, and this study provides a very strong indication of that,” he told Aljazeera.
“We’re not going to get better until we have more communities with access to affordable housing, better access to public transit, better public education.”‘
It is time to end the asthma epidemic’Dr Peltier said there was a growing recognition that asthma was not a one-size-fits-all problem.
“There is a huge overlap between asthma and asthma in terms of risk factors,” he added.
“This is not just a one size fits all, we’re talking about asthma being a factor in about 25% of all childhood illnesses and more than a third of all adult illnesses.”
It is important to recognise that asthma is not a ‘one-size fits all’, and that people have a range of different asthma symptoms, from mild to severe, and asthma can be a lifelong illness.
“Dr Fergudd said that, while the findings did not change the long-term outcomes of asthma, it did offer hope that there might be a way to reduce the impact of the disease on the lives of children.
He said that while there were several different factors, the asthma rate was a major contributor to the health of the population.”
That’s why we need interventions to reduce risk factors and to improve the care of children with asthma,” Dr Fergud said.