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Eliminating Asthma Disparities: A National Workshop to Set a Working Agenda |

Inner-city Asthma*: The Role of the Community

Victoria Persky, MD; Mary Turyk, PhD; Julie Piorkowski, MPH; Lenore Coover, RN, MSN, AE-C; John Knight, MPA; Cynthia Wagner, BSN; Eva Hernandez, MSN; Kamal Eldeirawi, PhD; Anne Fitzpatrick, BA; for the Chicago Community Asthma Prevention Program
Author and Funding Information

*From the Epidemiology/Biostatistics Division (Drs. Persky, Turyk, and Eldeirawi, Ms. Piorkowski, Ms. Wagner, Ms. Hernandez, and Ms. Fitzpatrick), University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, IL; Safer Pest Control Project (Mr. Knight), Chicago, IL; and Pediatric Management Services (Ms. Coover), Highland, IN.

Correspondence to: Victoria Persky, MD, Epidemiology/Biostatistics Division, University of Illinois School of Public Health, 1603 Taylor St, Room 878a, Chicago, IL 60612; e-mail: vwpersky@uic.edu


*From the Epidemiology/Biostatistics Division (Drs. Persky, Turyk, and Eldeirawi, Ms. Piorkowski, Ms. Wagner, Ms. Hernandez, and Ms. Fitzpatrick), University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, IL; Safer Pest Control Project (Mr. Knight), Chicago, IL; and Pediatric Management Services (Ms. Coover), Highland, IN.


Chest. 2007;132(5_suppl):831S-839S. doi:10.1378/chest.07-1911
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Asthma morbidity and mortality are disproportionately high in low-income minority populations. Variations in environmental exposures, stress, and access to appropriate health care all contribute to these disparities. The complex nature of asthma with strong contributions from environmental, psychosocial, and biological factors suggest that community-based approaches focused on the unique needs of high-risk populations may be effective. The few previous randomized trials suggest that case management with professionals and/or community health educators may reduce asthma morbidity. Health-educator programs should be lodged in stable infrastructures with training and funding for community health workers to obtain long-term sustainability. Factors not amenable to individual intervention, however, such as poor condition of homes, outdoor pollution, and lack of access to appropriate care, will require collaborative efforts of community groups, academic professionals, public agencies, and health-care providers.

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