You might ask “do low-income neighborhoods and increased rates of asthma?” We did a little research of our to find out. It started with a NBC News story.
Several years ago, NBC News published an informative article on their website. It is titled “Mold, Mice and Zip Codes: Inside the Childhood Asthma Epidemic” (written by Linda Carroll, NBC News contributor). She publicized the effect of low-income areas and severe asthma symptoms. The story mentions several asthma triggers in communities inhabited by the poor, including cockroaches, mice, dust, and mold.
Later, a couple other NBC News reporters visited a couple low income neighborhoods in New York City. The link between the poor and asthma became even more evident. They discovered main reasons why parents in these areas can’t or won’t take their children to the doctors. You can read and watch the full story by clicking the link above to their official website.
Dr. Webb’s Perspective
After reading this specific news story, Dr. Luke Webb provides his input on this issue and reviews this NBC News article. He gives an Asthma and Allergy Associates Physician’s perspective below. Dr. Webb wants all of his AACOS patients to learn more about the asthma and poverty relationship.
Dr. Luke Webb had this to say:
“Allergic triggers such as molds, mouse, cockroach, dust mites and pet dander are among the most potent asthma triggers. Many of these are common allergens indoors here in Colorado. In poorer, urban areas, these allergens are often found in even higher levels. These allergens – coupled with diesel exhaust exposure in homes closely situated to busy roads or with high levels of pollution – in general, put children at highest risk of asthma flares. Other important factors that can make asthma more difficult to control include obesity, inactivity and vitamin D deficiency. The (above) article highlights a strong link between low-income neighborhoods and increased rates of asthma and asthma exacerbations. Find out what you are allergic to. Discover other important factors. They are important to minimizing asthma’s control on your life.”
Talk to an Immunologist
If you think your environment affects your breathing health, talk to a board-certified immunologist. He or she can answer your questions about asthma.
This article was recently edited. Original publish date was January 2014.