You are on page 1of 4

Prevalence of Asthma in Children

Prevalence of Asthma in Children


Maggie Hepper
Northern State University

Prevalence of Asthma in Children


Asthma is a very common condition that makes a person's airways become inflamed,
narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe. Although asthma
is treatable by a medical professional, asthma can be chronic and last years to a life time.
Growing up with asthma may make a childs life more difficult when they want to be outside
running around. So how prevalent is asthma in children and what could be the causes for
children suffering from asthma?
One study tested the correlation between the birthplace of people who have asthma and
their racial identity. Data was analyzed from 102,524 children and adolescents in a National
Health Interview Survey. According to Shahed Iqbal, Emeka Oraka, Ginger L. Chew, and W.
Dana Flanders, In 2009 an estimated 26.4 million people (7.7% of adults and 9.6% of children)
in the United States had asthma (p. 1). In the study, 2.5% of the children tested were born
outside of the U.S. and 9,187 of the children and adolescents tested currently had asthma.

Prevalence of Asthma in Children

According to Iqbal, etc., the largest group of children that had asthma were 12 to 17 years. Most
children identified with having asthma were male and more non-U.S. born children had a low
birth weight compared to U.S. born children. Also found in the article by Iqbal, etc., Non-US
born children and adolescents were more likely to have current asthma if they had resided in the
United States for 10 years or more. We also observed a trend of increased current asthma
prevalence with duration of residency in the younger age groups (p. 3). From this study,
researchers found that asthma seemed to be more prevalent in economically developed countries.
In the U.S. more cases of asthma were found than in other countries which could be the cause of
children being born to healthier parents, or parents without asthma, meaning they have a less of a
chance of getting asthma themselves in different countries.
According to Iqbal, etc. in Association Between Birthplace and Current Asthma:
Hispanic children who were brought to the United States before entering first grade had
a higher prevealence of allergy and current asthma than children who arrived later.
Immigrant children have also been found to manifest asthma symptoms at a later age
Although the environmental exposures these children experienced were not known, it is
possible that early childhood exposure in the country of origin might have had some
protective effect on children younger than 12 years. Also, immigrant children aged 5
years or younger might not have lived in the U.S. long enough for an adaptive immune
response to a new environment to occur and asthma symptoms to manifest (p. 3).
Overall, in this study, residency in the United States meant higher odds in having asthma. The
cause of this can be because of the environment here and other contributing factors that are more
apparent in the United States than in other countries.
A second study done to determine the prevalence of asthma in children includes a study
done in West and East Philadelphia. In this study door-to-door screening was done in a random
selection of census block groups in nine different zip codes asking questions regarding whether

Prevalence of Asthma in Children

the children living in these homes have asthma or asthma like symptoms. According to Tyra
Bryant-Stephens, Caroline West, Cannae Dirl, Tinesha Banks, Vanessa Briggs, and Michael
Rosenthal, Door-to-door screening in the randomly selected block groups of targeted
Philadelphia neighborhoods found a positive asthma prevalence of 21.7%, with an additional
4.9% reporting symptoms that indicated probable asthma (p. 583). The next type of screening
was school based screening where schools in the same zip code were found and the teachers
distributed the screening packets to the students who then gave them to their caregivers in order
to get permission. 5,563 students were given a packet and about 62% responded back. The
results came back with 27.5% of the students were positive for asthma and then 16.7% had
symptoms that could mean they have asthma. According to the article by Stephens, etc., other
studies have been done on a community level basis and the results from that back up what they
found in this method of screening for the prevalence of asthma in children. Children living in the
Bronx had a sample of 8.6% which is twice as high as the US sample of 4.3%. Children found in
low-income and ethnic minority groups had the highest rate of asthma and wheezing.
From both of these studies, one can conclude that asthma isnt uncommon to find
children in the United States today suffering from. Like the first study suggest, the environment
of the United States as a whole tends to have more children develop asthma compared to other
countries. As the second study suggested, over a fourth of children in one area had asthma, and
over 16% had asthma like symptoms. The prevalence of asthma in children is quite high
according to research and studies.

Prevalence of Asthma in Children

Bibliography
Bryant-Stephens, T., West, C., Dirl, C., Banks, T., Briggs, V., & Rosenthal, M. (2012). Asthma
Prevalence in Philadelphia: Description of Two Community-Based Methodologies to
Assess Asthma Prevalence in an Inner-City Population. Journal Of Asthma,49(6), 581585. doi:10.3109/02770903.2012.690476
Iqbal, S., Oraka, E., Chew, G. L., & Flanders, W. D. (2014). Association Between Birthplace and
Current Asthma: The Role of Environment and Acculturation.American Journal Of
Public Health, 104(S1), S175-S182. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301509