Space, Place and Race: New York City Neighborhoods and Childhood Asthma

Client: Research on Neighborhood Health/Environmental Justice
Faculty: Jan Blustein and Beth Weitzman
Team: Christina Coiro, Nicole J. Henderson, Meredith Herr
Year: 2005
Children in urban neighborhoods confront daily hazards that put their respiratory health at risk, and asthma is the foremost reason for pediatric hospitalizations in New York City. Much of the current asthma research and policy initiatives focus on individual level analyses of health status, such as cigarette smoking and obesity. The Capstone team examined the effects of neighborhood characteristics on childhood asthma hospitalization rates. Using 2000 Census data, the Capstone team explored seven different domains relating to asthma prevalence: housing stock, socioeconomic status, outdoor environmental exposure, child care, health care, social disorder and race. Findings from the multivariate analysis indicate that housing stock is significantly associated with disparities in childhood asthma hospitalization rates. The Capstone team recommends that policymakers promote equitable home ownership initiatives and allocate resources for the maintenance of deteriorating public housing developments that currently expose residents to harmful indoor allergens.