Person using an asthma inhaler.

Study: Black and Hispanic children have higher asthma rates regardless of neighborhood income or density

By Marlen Gongora, Madison365 

A new study from the Childhood Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup (CREW) found that Black and Hispanic children have higher asthma rates, regardless of neighborhood income or density.

The research was led by Dr. James Gern, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. CREW, a national consortium made up of 12 medical centers that examine data to help determine the root causes of asthma, was established in 2016 with the mission to overcome the statistical limitations of smaller studies and has become a part of a seven-year initiative with the National Institutes of Health’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program.

“This study found that poverty and low-income status are associated with asthma, but that’s not all,” Dr. Gern said in a statement. “There are other things that we need to identify that are also associated with increased asthma rates in Black and Hispanic children.”

The study collected information from 5,809 children which included demographics, wheezing and asthma occurrence, and medical history, in order to examine the relationship between children’s asthma with their race and ethnicity, their mother’s education level, and their smoking habits and socioeconomic conditions of the neighborhoods they were born into. The study concluded that 46% of children from the sample experienced wheezing in their first year of life and 26% of them wheezed through the age of 11. Researchers also found that children experienced more asthma, as well as early and persistent wheezing, when living in neighborhoods with a higher population density, living in lower-income households, and when living below the poverty level. Read more …