Exercise-Induced Asthma May Be Behind High Rates of ER Visits in Asthma Hot Spots

According to a study published online in the journal Pediatrics, exercise-induced wheeze (EIW) “may contribute to the disparities in urgent medical visits for asthma between high- and low-income neighborhoods. Physicians caring for asthmatics should consider EIW an indicator of risk for urgent medical visits.” The study’s authors, from Columbia University Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, report that they “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 neighborhood, income, and other factors.” A press release from Columbia and the study’s journal abstract are both available online.