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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Sep;162(3 Pt 1):873-7.

Risk factors for pediatric asthma. Contributions of poverty, race, and urban residence.

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Strong Children's Research Center, Rochester General Hospital, and American Academy of Pediatrics Center for Child Health Research, Rochester, New York, USA.


The Child Health Supplement to the 1988 National Health Interview Survey was used to examine parent-reported current asthma among a nationally representative sample of 17,110 children zero to 17 yr of age. Numerous demographic variables were analyzed for independent associations with asthma using modified stepwise logistic regression, with models including specific combinations of risk factors. Black children had higher rates of asthma than did white children in unadjusted analyses, but after controlling for multiple factors, black race was not a significant correlate of asthma (adjusted odds ratio = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.21). Compared with nonurban white children, urban children, both black and white, were at significantly increased risk of asthma: urban and black (adjusted OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.86), urban and white (adjusted OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.48), whereas nonurban black children were not: nonurban and black (adjusted OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.83 to 1.61). Similarly, compared with nonurban, nonpoor children, urban and poor (adjusted OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.95), urban and nonpoor (adjusted OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.004 to 1.48), urban children, both poor and nonpoor, were at significantly increased risk of asthma, whereas nonurban poor children were not: nonurban and poor (adjusted OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.72 to 1.48). These results suggest that the higher prevalence of asthma among black children is not due to race or to low income per se, and that all children living in an urban setting are at increased risk for asthma.

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