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Do unhealthy environments contribute to the prevalence of asthma in African Americans?

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Statistics

Have shown that African American children are more likely to suffer from asthma compared to children from other ethnic groups. Researchers have often wondered about the pre-disposing factors that have resulted in the increased prevalence. Previous research studies have suggested that an unhealthy environment might in fact contribute to the prevalence of asthma in African American children.

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A recent study

Was conducted in Princeton University; the evidences provided in the study strongly suggest that prevalence of asthma in African American children may be due to continuous residential segregation which keeps children of the minority population housed in polluted and unhealthy environment.

The authors of this study Janet M. Curie and Diane Alexander investigated the claim by making comparisons of the birth weight of children from different ethnic backgrounds in the United States of America. The study location for this investigation was the “African American” ZIP codes in New Jersey. The authors used a combination of 2 sets of data; this included records of children born to women living in the study location during the period of 2006 to 2010. Additionally, the authors also used all the records of emergency room visits at New Jersey hospital during the period of 2006 to 2010.

However, the results of the study revealed that all the children living in the study location had low birth weights. The authors concluded that all the children living in the investigated neighborhoods had the same increased risk of asthma compared to children that had a normal birth weight.

According to the authors of this study, low birth weight may be a predisposing factor to the prevalence of asthma in children. However, it cannot be the main cause, because the disease must be physically triggered. The authors further suggested that there must be something in the neighborhoods of the children with low birth weight which caused asthma. Furthermore, the authors of the study suggested that both outdoor and indoor pollution may be the likely cause of asthma in such children.

Some of the pointers which the authors used to buttress their speculation include the following:

The close proximity between the locations investigated in this study and major industrial sources. The neighborhood is also highly populated with African American residents.

The study location is close to a busy highway. The authors suggested that automobiles may release high concentrations of particulate matter which may cause deleterious effects on the health of residents.


 

Kostas Deroukakis
Love to search, to try, to give, to learn. Knowledge, is the road for this achievement
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