A new study has found that the development of asthma in children living in metropolitans or big cities is not just related to the fact that they have taken birth or grown up in a big city.
The latest study has provided contradictory findings from the decade-old assumptions on the so-called inner city asthma epidemic.
The researchers at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University found that being black, poor or Puerto Rican are the most crucial factors that determine a child’s risk of developing the breathing problem such as asthma.
Dr. Corinne Keet, an asthma and pediatric allergy specialist at Johns Hopkins, said, “Our findings highlight the changing face of pediatric asthma and also suggest that living in an urban area is, by itself, not a risk factor for asthma.”
According to Keet, this is a fact that previous studies have looked at rates of asthma among children within specific cities, but none of them has compared asthma rates in inner city areas countrywide, or even took the comparative analysis of asthma rates compares with other types of communities.
For the new study, the researchers collected national survey data from 2009 to 2011 on over 23,000 children between age group six and 17. The team of researchers looked at asthma rates based on population figures and factors like race, income and ethnicity.
The researchers discovered no statistically important difference in the asthma rates between children in inner-city and those living elsewhere.
It was found that children who were black (17 percent) or Puerto Rican (20 percent) developed far higher asthma rates in comparison to Asian children (8 percent), Hispanic children (9 percent) and white children (10 percent).
The study team also found wide difference by geographical factors, with 17 percent of children from Northeastern cities having asthma compared to the eight percent living in western states.
The study did not considered those factors that have any influence on the severity of asthma, which could be more prevalent in big cities, according to the authors. Researchers said that will be taken as a subject of a follow-on study.
The report of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that the asthma disease affects 6.8 million children in the United States.
The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on Tuesday.