Background: A complex array of risk factors contributes to sustained high levels of asthma morbidity in inner-city children. Objective: To describe risk factors for asthma morbidity in a national sample of inner-city children with persistent asthma. Methods: This study examined baseline questionnaire results from 1,772 children ages 5 to 11 years old with moderate to severe persistent asthma who enrolled in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Inner-City Asthma Intervention between April 2001 and March 2004. Risk for asthma morbidity was assessed in 9 domains using the Child Asthma Risk Assessment Tool. The domains included environmental exposures, parental stress, medication adherence, pessimistic asthma beliefs, smoke exposure, aeroallergen exposure, child psychological well-being, responsibility for medication administration, and medical care. Results: A total of 51% of families demonstrated high risk of asthma morbidity in 3 or more domains. High risk of asthma morbidity was suggested based on household environmental exposures (47.7%), high parental stress (38.5%), poor medication adherence (38.3%), pessimistic asthma beliefs (31.8%), environmental tobacco smoke (24.4%), sensitization to aeroallergens in the home (24.8%), child behavioral or emotional concerns (22.9%), child assigned responsibility for medication administration (21.2%), and poor medical care (20.7%). Allergy testing was completed for 40% of the participating children. Of these children, 61% were exposed to aeroallergens in their home to which they were sensitized. Conclusions: In this national sample of inner-city children, multiple risk factors for asthma morbidity were identified. Asthma programs that provide multilevel support and intervention are needed to reduce the burden of asthma on inner-city families.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine