Why Are Kids in Asthma Hotspots More Likely to Visit the ER?
Research in NYC Suggests They Have a Higher Rate of Exercise-Induced Wheezing
Asthmatic children in New York City neighborhoods with high rates of asthma make many more visits to the emergency room (ER) than those who live in other parts of the city. While socioeconomic factors such as lack of adequate preventive care are part of the equation (high-asthma neighborhoods tend to be lower income), new research points to a possible biological basis for the disparity. Asthmatic children living in asthma hotspots were twice as likely to experience a common symptom known as exercise-induced wheeze than were those in neighborhoods with lower asthma rates.
Results by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center appear online in Pediatrics , the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The study enrolled 195 middle-income children with asthma, ages 7 and 8, living throughout New York City—in areas with varying asthma prevalence. The children were given a clinical evaluation, and their caregivers completed a health survey that included whether they had experienced exercise-induced wheeze one or more times in the past year.
Overall, 43% of the children had experienced exercise-induced wheeze. Those living in asthma hotspots were twice as likely to have experienced symptoms after exercise and more likely to have visited their doctor in a hurry or an ER because of breathing problems, even after adjusting for nei