Academic Commons


Air Pollution, Urgent Asthma Medical Visits and the Modifying Effect of Neighborhood Asthma Prevalence

Lovinsky-Desir, Stephanie; Acosta, Luis M.; Rundle, Andrew G.; Miller, Rachel L.; Goldstein, Inge; Jacobson, Judith S.; Chillrud, Steven N.; Perzanowski, Matthew S.

Background: Social and environmental stressors, may modify associations between environmental pollutants and asthma symptoms. We examined if neighborhood asthma prevalence (higher: HAPN vs. lower: LAPN), a surrogate for underlying risk factors for asthma, modified the relationship between pollutants and urgent asthma visits.
Methods: Through zip code, home addresses were linked to New York City Community Air Survey’s land use regression model for street-level, annual average nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM2.5), elemental carbon (EC); summer average ozone (O3); winter average sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations. Poisson regression models were fit to estimate the association (prevalence ratio, PR) between pollutant exposures and seeking urgent asthma care.
Results: All pollutants, except O3 were higher in HAPN than LAPN (P<0.01) Neighborhood asthma prevalence modified the relationship between pollutants and urgent asthma (P-interaction<0.01, for NO2 and SO3). Associations between pollutants and urgent asthma were observed only in LAPN (NO2: PR=1.38, P=0.01; SO3: PR=1.85, P=0.04). No association was observed between pollutants and urgent asthma among children in HAPN (P>0.05).
Conclusions: Relationships between modeled street-level pollutants and urgent asthma were stronger in LAPN compared to HAPN. Social stressors that may be more prevalent in HAPN than LAPN, could play a greater role in asthma exacerbations in HAPN versus pollutant exposure alone.

Geographic Areas


Also Published In

Pediatric Research

More About This Work

Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.