Study: Inner-city Violence Adds to Asthma

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 3 (UPI) — Those exposed to violence in the inner city are more likely to need asthma treatment, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia found patients exposed to violence in their community were at increased risk for asthma-related hospitalization.

The study, published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, found exposure to violence affecting almost one-quarter of the study participants. Those exposed to violence had nearly twice the rate of subsequent hospitalizations or emergency care visits for asthma compared with asthmatics who had not experienced violence.

“We know that asthma morbidity is high in low-income, inner-city neighborhoods,” Dr. Andrea Apter, the lead author, said in a statement. “So it’s important for us to understand how poverty affects health, particularly asthma health, so we can find ways of reducing exacerbations.”

Apter and colleagues tracked hospitalizations and emergency department visits for 397 adults living in an inner-city community with moderate to severe asthma for six months as part of a larger study. Participants were also interviewed about sociodemographics, depressive symptoms, social support, as well as it they had witnessed violence in the previous six months and if so, the nature of the violence. For example, “a fight in which a weapon was used.”

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