The Role of Race, Ethnicity, and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Factors in Asthma Incidence

In a May, 2022, article in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Pediatrics, researchers sought to determine the extent to which neighborhood-level socioeconomic indicators explain racial and ethnic disparities in childhood wheezing and asthma. The study population comprised 5,809 children in birth cohorts located throughout the United States that are part of the Children’s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup consortium. Forty-six percent reported wheezing before age 2 years, and 26% reported persistent wheeze through age 11 years. Race, ethnicity, and census variables (proportion of low-income households, population density, and poverty) all impacted asthma incidence. However, researchers concluded that “census variables did not significantly modify the association between race and ethnicity and risk for asthma incidence.” That is, Black and Hispanic children remained at higher risk for asthma compared with White children across census tracts socioeconomic levels.

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