Asthma in minority youth

According to the National Center for Health Statistics asthma is a serious problem in inner city youth, specifically minorities. It follows simple logic; children in cities are exposed to a larger number of allergens and therefore have higher chances of respiratory reactions like asthma.  The problem is children in those same environments are less exposed to adequate health care. While the overall rate of asthma related mortality has declined in the last several years, for minority children it hasn’t. This is just another reason why we need to close the income gap between races and enact universal health care. Lack of healthcare coverage plays a large role in problem of disease states that require maintain drugs (high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma). Without insurance, many families are forced to only seek help in emergency situations and are not able to control the disease.

The main points of the article were:

  • In the United States, 20 percent of Puerto Rican children, or one in five, have asthma. Among African-American youngsters, the rate is 13 percent.
  • African-American and Puerto Rican children are six times as likely as white children to die of asthma.
  • Inner-city children are exposed to more indoor and outdoor allergens — triggers for breathing problems — in their homes.
  • Lack of access to quality care, patterns of medication use and genetics play a role in the prevalence of asthma in minority children.
  • Public health programs can change outcomes in children with asthma


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