Racial Disparities in Asthma: Does Place Matter?

Michelle Sternthal, University of Michigan

Asthma disproportionately burdens black, Latino and poor individuals. Individual-level risk factors do not fully account for the observed differences. Health risks resources appear to be spatially and socially distributed across neighborhoods, with asthma-inducing factors concentrated in poor, segregated neighborhoods. Ecological studies often do not control for correlated individual factors. The Chicago Community Adult Health Study did face-to-face interviews with a representative probability sample of 3105 adults in Chicago. Multilevel models are utilized to simultaneously examine individual and neighborhood-level variation in asthma and to analyze how racial disparities in asthma are related to the areas in which they live. Measured neighborhood characteristics include concentrated disadvantage, neighborhood affluence, racial/ethnic composition, pollution and traffic, physical decay, neighborhood infestation, perceived violence, and safety. We hypothesize that residential contexts potentially play a large role in accounting for racial-ethnic disparities in asthma prevalence.

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Presented in Session 122: Neighborhoods and Health