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Factors Associated with Asthma Prevalence among Racial and Ethnic Groups—United States, 2009–2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Asthma
  • Description:

    Although the causes of asthma are poorly understood, multiple factors (e.g., genetic, environmental, socioeconomic, and lifestyle) have been implicated in the development and exacerbation of the disease,


    To identify the potential predictive factors of current asthma and to assess if the predictive ability of some factors differs by race and ethnicity,


    We used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2009–2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to estimate asthma prevalence and to examine the potential predictive factors for asthma (sex, age, educational attainment, household income, obesity, smoking, physical activity, and health insurance) by race and ethnicity,


    Of the 869,519 adult respondents in the survey, 8.6% reported having asthma. Asthma prevalence for all race/ethnic group was significantly higher among adults with a household income of <$15,000 (13.3%; adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] of 1.9) than those with income of ≥$75,000 (6.8%). The prevalence was also higher among obese adults (11.6%; aPR = 1.5) than non-obese (7.3%), current and former smokers (10.5%; aPR = 1.2 and 8.8%; 1.2) than non-smokers (7.8%), and adults with health insurance (8.6%; aPR = 1.3) than adults without it (7.8%). However, the prevalence was lower among adults aged 65+ (7.8; aPR = 0.7) than adults aged 18–34 (9.3%) and among adults who reported having leisure time physical activity (7.8%; aPR = 0.8) than adults who did not report it (10.7%). When examined among the racial/ethnic groups, these associations were observed among whites and blacks but not for the other four racial/ethnic groups,


    Predictive factors for asthma vary among the racial/ethnic groups. Identifying race/ethnicity-specific modifiable environmental and host-related factors (mold, pollens, house dust mites, cockroaches, animal allergens, other pollutants, education, income, obesity, smoking, physical activity, and health insurance status) can be important in developing targeted interventions to reduce the health and economic impact of asthma among the disproportionately affected segments of the United States population.

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