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Allergy Asthma Proc. 2014 Nov-Dec;35(6):467-74. doi: 10.2500/aap.2014.35.3792.

Homes of low-income minority families with asthmatic children have increased condition issues.

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Center for American Indian Community Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, USA.


The home is increasingly associated with asthma. It acts both as a reservoir of asthma triggers and as a refuge from seasonal outdoor allergen exposure. Racial/ethnic minority families with low incomes tend to reside in neighborhoods with low housing quality. These families also have higher rates of asthma. This study explores the hypothesis that black and Latino urban households with asthmatic children experienced more home mechanical, structural condition-related areas of concern than white households with asthmatic children. Participant families (n = 140) took part in the Kansas City Safe and Healthy Homes Program, had at least one asthmatic child, and met income qualifications of no more than 80% of local median income; many were below 50%. Families self-identified their race. Homes were assessed by environmental health professionals using a standard set of criteria and a specific set of on-site and laboratory sampling and analyses. Homes were given a score for areas of concern between 0 (best) and 53 (worst). The study population self-identified as black (46%), non-Latino white (26%), Latino (14.3%), and other (12.9%). Mean number of areas of concern were 18.7 in Latino homes, 17.8 in black homes, 13.3 in other homes, and 13.2 in white homes. Latino and black homes had significantly more areas of concern. White families were also more likely to be in the upper portion of the income. In this set of 140 low-income homes with an asthmatic child, households of minority individuals had more areas of condition concerns and generally lower income than other families.

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