Research Investigates Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Asthma Incidence

An article published in Ethnicity & Disease in January, 2016, investigated the effects of neighborhood socioeconomic status on asthma incidence. Specifically, researchers “assessed the contributions of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), neighborhood housing density, neighborhood racial composition, and individual SES to the development of adult-onset asthma in Black women, accounting for other known or suspected risk factors.” A prospective cohort study was conducted among 47,779 African American women, with “biennial health questionnaires from 1995 to 2011.” In the end, the study authors concluded that “individual SES, but not neighborhood SES or other neighborhood factors, was associated with the incidence of adult-onset asthma in this population of African American women.”

To reach these conclusions, the researchers “assessed neighborhood SES, indicated by census variables representing income, education, and wealth, and housing density and % African American population, as well as individual SES, indicated by highest education of participant/spouse.” Over the 16 year follow up, 1520 incident cases of asthma occurred. After “control for individual SES, body mass index, and other factors,” “neighborhood factors were not associated with asthma incidence.”

Click here to view the article abstract.