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Risk factors for asthma prevalence and chronic respiratory illnesses among residents of different neighbourhoods in Buffalo, New York


Study objective: The aim of this study is to identify risk factors for asthma prevalence and chronic respiratory illnesses in Buffalo’s neighbourhoods after previous studies reported increased levels of asthma among residents on Buffalo’s west side.

Design: Cross sectional surveys.

Setting: Buffalo neighbourhoods along a US-Canada border crossing point.

Subjects: A systematic random survey of 82% of the 2000 targeted households was conducted between January and August 2002.

Main results: A multivariate logistic regression model shows that the risk of persons with asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses is significantly (p⩽0.05) high among children and young adults living in Buffalo’s west side, newer housing units, and of Latino ethnicity. In a separate analysis of the nine risk factors, it was observed that location, gender, age, and race were significant risk factors even after adjusting for age of housing, pets, moulds, animal trigger, and smoking.

Conclusions: These findings confirm the hypothesis that a considerable risk of asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses exists particularly among Buffalo’s west side residents. Further evaluation of these risk factors is warranted to determine the severity of asthma and the reasons for such a significant disease burden.

  • EPA, Environment Protection Agency
  • NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement
  • CAEE, Centre for Asthma and Environment Exposure
  • asthma
  • logistic model
  • risk factors

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