Historic increase in urban population numbers in the face of shrinking urban economies and declining social services has meant that a large proportion of the urban population lives in precarious urban conditions, which provide the grounds for high urban health risks in low income countries. This study aims to identify, investigate, and contrast the spatial patterns of vulnerability and risk of two major causes of mortality, viz malaria and diarrhea mortalities, in order to optimize resource allocation for effective urban environmental management and improvement in urban health. A spatial cluster analysis of the observed urban malaria and diarrhea mortalities for the whole city of Accra was conducted. We obtained routinely reported mortality data for the period 1998–2002 from the Ghana Vital Registration System (VRS), computed the fraction of deaths due to malaria and diarrhea at the census cluster level, and analyzed and visualized the data with Geographic Information System (GIS, ArcMap 9.3.1). Regions of identified hotspots, cold spots, and excess mortalities were observed to be associated with some socioeconomic and neighborhood urban environmental conditions, suggesting uneven distribution of risk factors for both urban malaria and diarrhea in areas of rapid urban transformation. Case–control and/or longitudinal studies seeking to understand the individual level factors which mediate socioenvironmental conditions in explaining the observed excess urban mortalities and to establish the full range of risk factors might benefit from initial vulnerability mapping and excess risk analysis using geostatistical approaches. This is key to evidence-based urban health policy reforms in rapidly urbanizing areas in low income economies.
Malaria; Diarrhea; Hotspots; Urban vulnerabilities; Health risk; Spatial autocorrelation; Cluster-level mortality
Drug addiction is a major public health problem, one that is most acutely felt in major cities around the globe. Harm reduction and safe injection sites are an attempt to address this problem and are at the cutting edge of public health policy and practice. One of the most studied safe injection sites is INSITE located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using INSITE as a case study, this paper argues that knowledge translation offers a limited framework for understanding the development of public health policy. This paper also argues that the experience of INSITE suggests that science and social justice, the meta-ideas that lie at the core of the public health enterprise, are an inadequate basis for a theory of public health policy making. However, on a more positive note, INSITE also shows the value of concepts drawn from the ways in which political science analyzes the policy process.
Knowledge translation; Urban health; Policy-making; Drug policy; Harm reduction
Misuse of prescription drugs and injection drug use has increased among young adults in the USA. Despite these upward trends, few studies have examined prescription drug misuse among young injection drug users (IDUs). A qualitative study was undertaken to describe current patterns of prescription drug misuse among young IDUs. Young IDUs aged 16–25 years who had misused a prescription drug, e.g., opioids, tranquilizers, or stimulants, at least three times in the past 3 months were recruited in 2008 and 2009 in Los Angeles (n = 25) and New York (n = 25). Informed by an ethno-epidemiological approach, descriptive data from a semi-structured interview guide were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Most IDUs sampled were both homeless and transient. Heroin, prescription opioids, and prescription tranquilizers were frequently misused in the past 30 days. Qualitative results indicated that young IDUs used prescription opioids and tranquilizers: as substitutes for heroin when it was unavailable; to boost a heroin high; to self-medicate for health conditions, including untreated pain and heroin withdrawal; to curb heroin use; and to reduce risks associated with injecting heroin. Polydrug use involving heroin and prescription drugs resulted in an overdose in multiple cases. Findings point to contrasting availability of heroin in North American cities while indicating broad availability of prescription opioids among street-based drug users. The results highlight a variety of unmet service needs among this sample of young IDUs, such as overdose prevention, drug treatment programs, primary care clinics, and mental health services.
Prescription drug misuse; Injection drug use; Young adults
Globalization has led to a rapid influx of female workers from Asian countries with high prevalence of HIV to Singapore, with many entering the entertainment industry. We assessed the prevalence of sexual services, condom use, and self-initiated screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and associated variables among foreign female entertainment workers in Singapore. A cross-sectional survey of 317 female entertainment workers, using mystery clients, was conducted on a two-stage proportional cluster sample of 93 entertainment establishments stratified by geographical zone in Singapore. We found a high prevalence (71 %) of sexual services in entertainment establishments with 53 % of the female entertainment workers reporting selling sex. Consistent condom use for sex with paying clients in a usual week in the past 3 months was low, ranging from 37.9 % for oral sex, 46.9 % for anal sex, to 51.9 % for vaginal sex. On multivariate logistic regression, consistent condom use for vaginal sex with clients showed a significant independent association with the entertainment worker’s behavior of asking clients to use condoms and a borderline association with entertainment worker being a Chinese national. Less than half (48.9 %) of the sex workers had ever been screened for STIs either locally or in their home country. The only independent factor significantly associated with STI screening was having to support one’s family. In summary, a high percentage of foreign female entertainment workers in Singapore reported selling sex. Condom use and STI screening were low among them. Access to STI screening, treatment, and education services should be enhanced for foreign female entertainment workers in Singapore.
Selling sex; Foreign entertainment workers; Mystery clients; Condom use; Screening
In this paper, we consider social forces that affect the processes of both knowledge production and knowledge translation in relation to urban health research. First, we briefly review our conceptual model, derived from a social-conflict framework, to outline how unequal power relations and health inequalities are causally linked. Second, we critically discuss ideological, political, and economic barriers that exist within academia that affect knowledge production related to urban health and health inequalities. Third, we broaden the scope of our analysis to examine how the ideological, political, and economic environment beyond the academy creates barriers to health equity policy making. We conclude with some key questions about the role that knowledge translation can possibly play in light of these constraints on research and policy for urban health.
Knowledge production; Knowledge translation; Urban health policy; Social-conflict; Power relations; Health inequalities; Ideology; Political economy; Scientific research; Sociology of science
Whether automated estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reporting for patients is associated with improved provider recognition of chronic kidney disease (CKD), as measured by diagnostic coding of CKD in those with laboratory evidence of the disease, has not been explored in a poor, ethnically diverse, high-risk urban patient population. A retrospective cohort of 237 adult patients (≥20 years) with incident CKD (≥1 eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2, followed by ≥2 eGFRs <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 ≥3 months apart)—pre- or postautomated eGFR reporting—was identified within the San Francisco Department of Public Health Community Health Network (January 2005–July 2009). Patients were considered coded if any ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes for CKD (585.x), other kidney disease (580.x–581.x, 586.x), or diabetes (250.4) or hypertension (403.x, 404.x) CKD were present in the medical record within 6 months of incident CKD. Multivariable logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for CKD coding. We found that, pre-eGFR reporting, 42.5 % of incident CKD patients were coded for CKD. Female gender, increased age, and non-Black race were associated with lower serum creatinine and lower prevalence of coding but comparable eGFR. Prevalence of coding was not statistically significantly higher overall (49.6 %, P = 0.27) or in subgroups after the institution of automated eGFR reporting. However, gaps in coding by age and gender were narrowed post-eGFR, even after adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics: 47.9 % of those <65 and 30.3 % of those ≥65 were coded pre-eGFR, compared to 49.0 % and 52.0 % post-eGFR (OR = 0.43 and 1.16); similarly, 53.2 % of males and 25.4 % of females were coded pre-eGFR compared to 52.8 % and 44.0 % post-eGFR (OR 0.28 vs. 0.64). Blacks were more likely to be coded in the post-eGFR period: OR = 1.08 and 1.43 (Pinteraction > 0.05). Automated eGFR reporting may help improve CKD recognition, but it is not sufficient to resolve underidentification of CKD by safety net providers.
Chronic kidney disease; Diagnostic coding; Estimated glomerular filtration rate; Female; African American
Despite stereotypes of the homeless population as underweight, the literature lacks a rigorous analysis of weight status in homeless adults. The purpose of this study is to present the body mass index (BMI) distribution in a large adult homeless population and to compare this distribution to the non-homeless population in the United States. Demographic, BMI, and socioeconomic variables from patients seen in 2007–2008 were collected from the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). This population was compared to non-homeless adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Among 5,632 homeless adults, the mean BMI was 28.4 kg/m2 and the prevalence of obesity was 32.3 %. Only 1.6 % of homeless adults were underweight. Compared to mean BMI in NHANES (28.6 kg/m2), the difference was not significant in unadjusted analysis (p = 0.14). Adjusted analyses predicting BMI or likelihood of obesity also showed that the homeless had a weight distribution not statistically different from the general population. Although underweight has been traditionally associated with homelessness, this study suggests that obesity may be the new malnutrition of the homeless in the United States.
Homeless; Obesity; Body mass index; Malnutrition
Direct and indirect exposure to gun violence have considerable consequences on individual health and well-being. However, no study has considered the effects of one’s social network on gunshot injury. This study investigates the relationship between an individual’s position in a high-risk social network and the probability of being a victim of a fatal or non-fatal gunshot wound by combining observational data from the police with records of fatal and non-fatal gunshot injuries among 763 individuals in Boston’s Cape Verdean community. A logistic regression approach is used to analyze the probability of being the victim of a fatal or non-fatal gunshot wound and whether such injury is related to age, gender, race, prior criminal activity, exposure to street gangs and other gunshot victims, density of one’s peer network, and the social distance to other gunshot victims. The findings demonstrate that 85 % all of the gunshot injuries in the sample occur within a single social network. Probability of gunshot victimization is related to one’s network distance to other gunshot victims: each network association removed from another gunshot victim reduces the odds of gunshot victimization by 25 % (odds ratio = 0.75; 95 % confidence interval, 0.65 to 0.87). This indirect exposure to gunshot victimization exerts an effect above and beyond the saturation of gunshot victimization in one’s peer network, age, prior criminal activity, and other individual and network variables.
Social networks; Firearms; Gun violence; Homicide; Street gangs
Globally, health and social inequities are growing and are created, actively maintained, and aggravated by existing policies and practices. The call for evidence-based policy making to address this injustice seems a promising strategy to facilitate a reversal of existing strategies and the design of new effective programming. Acting on evidence to address inequities requires congruence between identifying the major drivers of disparities and the study of their causes and solutions. Yet, current research on inequities tends to focus on documenting disparities among individuals or subpopulations with little focus on identifying the macro-social causes of adverse population health. Moreover, the research base falls far short of a focus on the solutions to the complex multilevel drivers of disparities. This paper focuses upon recommendations to refocus and improve the public health research evidence generated to inform and create strong evidence-based recommendations for improving population health.
Social determinants of health; Health inequalities; Evidence; Social epidemiology
In 2011, an interdisciplinary symposium was organized in Toronto, Canada to investigate prevailing models of health policy change in the knowledge translation literature and to assess the applicability of these models for equity-focused urban health research. The papers resulting from the symposium have been published together, in the Journal of Urban Health, along with this introductory essay. This essay describes how the different papers grapple in different ways with how to understand and to bridge the gaps between urban health research and action. The breadth of perspectives reflected in the papers (e.g., social epidemiology, public health, political science, sociology, critical labor studies, and educational psychology) shed much light on core tensions in the relationship between KT and health equity. The first tension is whether the content of evidence or the context of decision making is the strong determinate of research impact in relation to health equity policy. The second tension is whether relationships between health equity researchers and decision makers are best viewed in terms of collaboration or of conflict. The third concerns the role that power plays in evidence-based policy making, when the issues at stake are not only empirical but also normative.
Urban health; Knowledge translation; Power; Politics; Policy change; Evidence-based decision making; Health equity
HIV/AIDS is concentrated in impoverished communities. Two critical aspects of poverty are food insufficiency and substance abuse, and both are associated with sexual risks for HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. The current study is the first to examine both hunger and substance use in relation to sexual risks for HIV infection in South African alcohol serving establishments. Anonymous venue-based intercept surveys were completed by men (n = 388) and women (n = 407) patrons of six informal drinking places (e.g., shebeens) in Cape Town, South Africa. Food insufficiency and its more extreme form hunger were common in the sample, with 24 % of men and 53 % of women experiencing hunger in the previous 4 months. Multiple regression analyses showed that quantity of alcohol use was related to higher rates of unprotected sex for men and women. Trading sex to meet survival needs was related to food insufficiency and methamphetamine use among men but not women. Food insufficiency and substance use may both contribute to HIV risks in South African shebeens. However, the influence of hunger and substance use on sexual risks varies for men and women. Interventions to reduce HIV transmission risks may be bolstered by reducing both food insufficiency and substance use.
HIV prevention; South Africa; Food insufficiency; Alcohol risks
Recent trends towards the intensification of urban development to increase urban densities and avoid sprawl should be accompanied by research into the potential for related health impacts from environmental exposure. The objective of the current study was to examine the effect of the built environment and land use on levels of environmental noise. Two different study areas were selected using a combination of small area census geography, land use information, air photography, and ground-truthing. The first study area represented residential land use and consisted of two- to three-story single-family homes. The second study area was characteristic of mixed-use urban planning with apartment buildings as well as commercial and institutional development. Study areas were subdivided into six grids, and a location was randomly selected within each grid for noise monitoring. Each location was sampled four times over a 24-h day, resulting in a total of 24 samples for each of the two areas. Results showed significant variability in noise within study areas and significantly higher levels of environmental noise in the mixed-use area. Both study areas exceeded recommended noise limits when evaluated against World Health Organization guidelines and yielded average noise events values in the moderate to serious annoyance range with the potential to obscure normal conversation and cause sleep disturbance.
Noise; Land use; Urban; Geographic information systems; Sound level meter; Public health
The purpose of this article was to discuss significant challenges to the achievement of urban health, specifically acknowledging numerous controversies in knowledge translation for community-based drug treatment that prevent the achievement of health equity. Seven specific controversies are analyzed in this article. The results of the analysis are recommendations for moving toward the resolution of each controversy. Among the most important recommendations is a call to end the policies of the war on drugs and mass incarceration of drug offenders—as policies reflecting how politics and the misuse of power may derail knowledge translation. The article provides justification for evidence-based policy that supports community-based drug treatment as a public health approach consistent with the goals of health equity, ethical practice, and effective knowledge translation.
Knowledge translation; Drug treatment; Health equity; Urban health; Policy; War on drugs; Mass incarceration crisis; Evidence-based treatment
Sex trafficking, trafficking for the purpose of forced sexual exploitation, is a widespread form of human trafficking that occurs in all regions of the world, affects mostly women and girls, and has far-reaching health implications. Studies suggest that up to 50 % of sex trafficking victims in the USA seek medical attention while in their trafficking situation, yet it is unclear how the healthcare system responds to the needs of victims of sex trafficking. To understand the intersection of sex trafficking and public health, we performed in-depth qualitative interviews among 277 antitrafficking stakeholders across eight metropolitan areas in five countries to examine the local context of sex trafficking. We sought to gain a new perspective on this form of gender-based violence from those who have a unique vantage point and intimate knowledge of push-and-pull factors, victim health needs, current available resources and practices in the health system, and barriers to care. Through comparative analysis across these contexts, we found that multiple sociocultural and economic factors facilitate sex trafficking, including child sexual abuse, the objectification of women and girls, and lack of income. Although there are numerous physical and psychological health problems associated with sex trafficking, health services for victims are patchy and poorly coordinated, particularly in the realm of mental health. Various factors function as barriers to a greater health response, including low awareness of sex trafficking and attitudinal biases among health workers. A more comprehensive and coordinated health system response to sex trafficking may help alleviate its devastating effects on vulnerable women and girls. There are numerous opportunities for local health systems to engage in antitrafficking efforts while partnering across sectors with relevant stakeholders.
Vulnerable populations; Public health; Gender-based violence; Forced sexual exploitation; Sex trafficking; Social determinants of sex trafficking; Trafficking-related health problems; Access to health care; Health policy
Parents who are recent immigrants and/or non-native English speakers are at increased risk for poor health literacy. For example, misconceptions regarding treatment for upper respiratory infections (URIs), including nonjudicious use of antibiotics, have been described among Latinos. We sought to assess the influence of health literacy on knowledge and beliefs surrounding URI care and to explore the correlation between two health literacy measures among Latino parents in northern Manhattan. A descriptive survey design was used, and a total of 154 Latino parents were enrolled from four early head start programs between September 2009 and December 2009. Health literacy was measured using the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and Newest Vital Sign (NVS); parental knowledge and beliefs regarding antibiotic treatment for URIs were also assessed. Analyses were conducted in 2010 with multivariable logistic regression performed to examine predictors of health literacy. Inadequate health literacy was observed in 83.8 % of respondents using NVS and 35.7 % with the S-TOFHLA. College education was significantly associated with adequate health literacy using either the NVS or S-TOFHLA; however, other results varied between measures. Using NVS, there was a greater likelihood of adequate health literacy with US birth status (AOR 13.8; 95 % CI, 1.99–95.1), >5 years US residency (AOR 7.6; 95 % CI, 1.3–43.1) and higher antibiotic knowledge scores (AOR 1.7; 95 % CI, 1.2–2.4). Using S-TOFHLA, the odds of adequate health literacy increased with access to a regular care provider (AOR 2.6; 95 % CI, 1.2–5.6). Scores consistent with adequate health literacy on the NVS, but not the S-TOFHLA, were associated with correct beliefs regarding antibiotic use for URIs in comparison to scores of participants with inadequate health literacy. Since health literacy levels were low in this population and the risk of viral URI was high during the first few years of life, targeted education to improve health literacy, knowledge, and beliefs about URI and related antibiotic treatment is needed.
Health literacy; Upper respiratory infection (URI); Knowledge of antibiotics; Latinos; Parents
Directly observed therapy (DOT) of antiretroviral (ARV) medications has beneficial effects on HIV treatment for incarcerated inmates but has been associated with limited continuation after release and inadvertent disclosure of HIV status. Guided self-administered therapy (g-SAT) may be a preferred method of ARV delivery and may encourage medication-taking behavior. We surveyed the preference of 102 HIV-positive jailed inmates at the San Francisco City and County Jails regarding receiving ARVs via DOT versus g-SAT while incarcerated. Participants overwhelmingly preferred g-SAT over DOT.
HIV; AIDS; Directly observed therapy; Self-administered therapy; Jail; Correctional facility
Despite a safe, effective vaccine, hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination coverage remains low among people who inject drugs (PWID). Characteristics of participants screened for a trial investigating the efficacy of financial incentives in increasing vaccination completion among PWID were examined to inform targeting of vaccination programs. Recruitment occurred at two health services in inner-city Sydney that target PWID. HBV status was confirmed via serological testing, and questionnaires elicited demographic, drug use, and HBV risk data. Multinomial logistic regression was utilized to determine variables independently associated with HBV status. Of 172 participants, 64% were susceptible, 17% exposed (HBV core antibody-positive), and 19% demonstrated evidence of prior vaccination (HBV surface antibody ≥ 10 mIU/ml). Compared with exposed participants, susceptible participants were significantly more likely to be aged less than 35 years and significantly less likely to be receiving current opioid substitution therapy (OST) and to test hepatitis C antibody-positive. In comparison to vaccinated participants, susceptible participants were significantly more likely to be male and significantly less likely to report daily or more frequent injecting, current OST, and prior awareness of HBV vaccine. HBV vaccination uptake could potentially be increased by targeting younger, less frequent injectors, particularly young men. In addition to expanding vaccination through OST, targeting “at risk” youth who are likely to have missed adolescent catch-up programs may be an important strategy to increase coverage. The lack of an association between incarceration and vaccination also suggests increasing vaccination uptake and completion in adult and juvenile correctional facilities may also be important.
Hepatitis B virus; Substance abuse; Intravenous; Immunization; Public health
Research indicates that insufficient emphasis on community collaboration and partnership can thwart innovative community-driven work on the social determinants of health by local health departments. Appreciating the importance of enhancing community participation, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) helped lead the development of the Health Equity Project (HEP), an intervention aimed at increasing the capacity of urban youth to identify and take action to reduce food-related health disparities. DOHMH partnered with the City University of New York School of Public Health and several local youth organizations to design and implement the intervention. HEP was conducted with 373 young people in 17 cohorts at 14 unique sites: six in Brooklyn, six in the Bronx, and two in Harlem. Partnered youth organizations hosted three stages of work: interactive workshops on neighborhood health disparities, food environments, and health outcomes; food-focused research projects conducted by youth; and small-scale action projects designed to change local food environments. Through these activities, HEP appears to have been successful in introducing youth to the social, economic, and political factors that shape food environments and to the influence of food on health outcomes. The intervention was also somewhat successful in providing youth with community-based participatory research skills and engaging them in documenting and then acting to change their neighborhood food environments. In the short term, we are unable to assess how successful HEP has been in building young leaders who will continue to engage in this kind of activism, but we suspect that more extended interactions would be needed to achieve this more ambitious goal. Experiences at these sites suggest that youth organizations with a demonstrated capacity to engage youth in community service or activism and a commitment to improving food or other health-promoting community resources make the most suitable and successful partners for this kind of effort.
Food environments; Youth; Activism; Community health; Local health department; Partnerships; Dialogue; Curriculum
The New York City (NYC) Health Department has implemented a comprehensive tobacco control plan since 2002, and there was a 27% decline in adult smoking prevalence in NYC from 2002 to 2008. There are conflicting reports in the literature on whether residual smoker populations have a larger or smaller share of “hardcore” smokers. Changes in daily consumption and daily and nondaily smoking prevalence, common components used to define hardcore smokers, were evaluated in the context of the smoking prevalence decline. Using the NYC Community Health Survey, an annual random digit dial, cross-sectional survey that samples approximately 10,000 adults, the prevalence of current heavy daily, light daily, and nondaily smokers among NYC adults was compared between 2002 and 2008. A five-level categorical cigarettes per day (CPD) variable was also used to compare the population of smokers between the 2 years. From 2002 to 2008, significant declines were seen in the prevalence of daily smoking, heavy daily smoking, and nondaily smoking. Among daily smokers, there is also evidence of population declines in all but the lowest smoking category (one to five CPD). The mean CPD among daily smokers declined significantly, from 14.6 to 12.5. After an overall decline in smoking since 2002, the remaining smokers may be less nicotine dependent, based on changes in daily consumption and daily and nondaily smoking prevalence. These findings suggest the need to increase media and cessation efforts targeted towards lighter smokers.
Smoking prevalence; Cigarette consumption; Tobacco control
To further understand documented associations between obesity and urban sprawl, this research describes individuals’ trade-offs between health-related activities and commuting time. A cross-section of 24,861 working-age individuals employed full-time and residing in urban counties is constructed from the American Time Use Survey (2003–2010). Data are analyzed using seemingly unrelated regressions to quantify health-related activity decreases in response to additional time spent commuting. Outcomes are total daily minutes spent in physical activity at a moderate or greater intensity, preparing food, eating meals with family, and sleeping. Commuting time is measured as all travel time between home and work and vice versa. The mean commuting time is 62 min daily, the median is 55 min, and 10.1% of workers commute 120 min or more. Spending an additional 60 min daily commuting above average is associated with a 6% decrease in aggregate health-related activities and spending an additional 120 min is associated with a 12% decrease. The greatest percentage of commuting time comes from sleeping time reductions (28–35%). Additionally, larger proportions of commuting time are taken from physical activity and food preparation relative to the mean commuting length: of 60 min spent commuting, 16.1% is taken from physical activity and 4.1% is taken from food preparation; of 120 min commuting, 20.3% is taken from physical activity and 5.6% is taken from food preparation. The results indicate that longer commutes are associated with behavioral patterns which over time may contribute to obesity and other poor health outcomes. These findings will assist both urban planners and researchers wishing to understand time constraints’ impacts on health.
Health behaviors; Obesity; Commuting; Time allocation; Time scarcity
Low-income populations, minorities, and children living in inner cities have high rates of asthma. Recent studies have emphasized the role of psychosocial stress in development of asthma. Residence in unsafe neighborhoods is one potential source of increased stress. The study objective was to examine the association between parental perception of neighborhood safety and asthma diagnosis among inner city, minority children. Cross-sectional data from a community-based study of 6–8-year-old New York City children were used. Asthma was defined as parental report of physician-diagnosed asthma and at least one asthma-related symptom. Parental perceptions of neighborhood safety were assessed with a questionnaire. Associations between perceived neighborhood safety and asthma were examined using chi-squared tests. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were then performed. Five hundred four children were included with 79% female, 26.5% non-Hispanic Black, and 73.5% Hispanic. Asthma was present in 23.8% of children. There was an inverse association between feeling safe walking in the neighborhood and asthma with 45.7% of parents of asthmatic children reporting they felt safe compared to 60.9% of parents of non-asthmatic children (p = 0.006). Fewer parents of asthmatic children than of non-asthmatic children reported that their neighborhood was safe from crime (21.7% versus 33.9%, p = 0.018). In multivariate analyses adjusting for race/ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, number of smokers in the home and breastfeeding history, parents reporting feeling unsafe walking in the neighborhood were more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma (OR = 1.89, 95%CI 1.13–3.14). Psychosocial stressors such as living in unsafe neighborhoods may be associated with asthma diagnosis in urban ethnic minority children. Addressing the increased asthma burden in certain communities may require interventions to decrease urban stressors.
Asthma; Neighborhood; Urban; Safety; Children