Title

Race and gender differences in respiratory illness prevalence and their relationship to environmental exposures in children 7 to 14 years of age

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Date

7-1-1993

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; *African Americans; Age Factors; Child; Environmental Exposure; *European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Humans; Kansas; Male; Massachusetts; Missouri; Odds Ratio; Ohio; Prevalence; Regression Analysis; Respiratory Tract Diseases; Sex Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Tennessee; Urban Population; Wisconsin

Disciplines

Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research

Abstract

Race and gender differences in respiratory illness prevalence rates were assessed in a cohort of 8,322 white children and 1,056 black children 7 to 14 yr of age from four U.S. cities. Boys had higher rates of wheeze, asthma, cough, phlegm, and bronchitis than girls. Black children had higher rates of persistent wheeze, shortness of breath with wheeze, asthma, chronic cough, and chronic phlegm than white children. We examined whether the racial disparity in respiratory illness prevalence could be accounted for by environmental exposures and socioeconomic factors. The proportion of families without a parent who had graduated from high school was higher for blacks than for whites, as was the proportion of single-parent households. Black children took up smoking less frequently; their mothers smoked fewer cigarettes. Personal and maternal smoking predicted higher rates of persistent wheeze, chronic cough, chronic phlegm, and chest illness. The relative odds for persistent wheeze were 1.34 (1.07, 1.69) for smoking children compared with nonsmoking children. The relative odds for persistent wheeze were 1.35 (1.13, 1.60) for children whose mother smoked > 30 cigarettes per day versus children with no maternal smoke exposure. Other predictors of respiratory illnesses included parental respiratory illness, parental education, only-child status, single-parent household, air conditioner use, and body mass index. Nevertheless, adjustment for socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, and body habitus did not significantly reduce the excess respiratory illness prevalence observed among black children. The adjusted relative odds were 1.47 (1.25, 1.74) for persistent wheeze and 1.57 (1.17, 2.10) for asthma for black children versus white children.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Jul;148(1):10-8.

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