"Asthma is a significant public health problem among Puerto Ricans, but the extent to which this population is affected by allergies is not completely understood," said the study's lead author Juan C. Celedn, MD, DrPH, FCCP, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. "Puerto Rican and African-American children are more likely to live in poor housing conditions and, consequently, have an increased risk of exposure to certain allergens. Not knowing a child is allergic to certain allergens may result in the child being continuously exposed to these allergens, which can ultimately make asthma management more difficult."
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, and University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, examined the relationship between ethnicity, geographic residence and living conditions, and asthma severity on the prevalence and extent of indoor and outdoor allergens among children with mild to severe asthma living in Hartford, CT. Of the 791 children, ages 4-18, included in the study, 346 (43.7 percent) were white, 312 (39.5 percent) were Puerto Rican, 113 (14.3 percent) were African-American, and 20 (2.5 percent) belonged to other ethnic groups. Using a standard allergy skin test, children were monitored for skin test reactivity to indoor allergens (ie, cockroach, cat and dog dander, and dust mite
Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians