PURPOSE: Asthma is a common chronic illness of children and the prevalence of asthma has increased over the past several decades. The development of asthma depends on a complex interaction between genetic factors, environmental exposures and social risk factors.
METHODS: Using data from the 2008 Arizona Health Survey, this report evaluates the effect of social and environmental factors contributing to the risk of asthma in children. 635 surveys of children 12 years of age or less using a linked to adult survey sampling approach were reviewed.
RESULTS: Among the 635 child surveys, 65 (10.2%) children had been told by a doctor that they had asthma and 35 (5.5%) had an asthma episode in the past 12 months. 10.4% of males and 10.1% of females had asthma. Children in ethnicities other than Caucasian and Hispanic were more likely to have asthma and have had an episode within the past 12 months (p < 0.05). 14.5% of children at the survey date with a BMI ≥ 85% had asthma and 9.1% had an asthma episode compared to normal weight children, 7.8% had asthma and 4.8% had asthma episode (p=0.47). In general the child’s typical diet had no influence on asthma risk. Other information regarding parent current BMI and at 18 yrs, household income, parent education, child’s amount and type of exercise, type of neighborhood, and commercial development of the neighborhood did not demonstrate a significant effect on presence of child asthma.
CONCLUSION: Our survey involving children 12 years of age or less found an association with significantly higher risk for asthma when the subject was of other ethnicity than Caucasian and Hispanic. This other category would include subjects with African-American ethnicity. There were also a significantly higher percentage of children with a BMI ≥ 85% who had been told they had asthma and had an asthma episode within 12months.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: With a larger survey for children less than 12 years, we might potentially show increased asthma with other social risks.
DISCLOSURE: Peggy Radford, Consultant fee, speaker bureau, advisory committee, etc. Genentech Advisory Board Consultant; No Product/Research Disclosure Information