Asthma prevalence in school children in Lane County, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xd07gw617

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  • Asthma prevalence in children under age 18 has risen steadily in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. Most researchers attribute this increase to air pollutants, socioeconomic status or urban residence. This study examined asthma prevalence in Lane County, Oregon, using children's asthma hospital discharges (1990-1995), and data from 10 of 16 school districts. The overall asthma prevalence in Lane County was 5.8%, ranging from 1.9% (coastal Siuslaw District) to 10% (urban, industrial Bethel District). Asthma prevalence during 1988-1997 was examined for the largest school district, Eugene 4J (43% of the total study population). Eugene 4J is divided into four regions: North, South, Churchill, and Sheldon. The largest asthma prevalence increase during this time was detected in North Region (2.5%-8%), while the overall district prevalence nearly doubled (3.3%-6.2%). No correlation was found between socioeconomic status and asthma prevalence, and there was not a consistent pattern between asthma prevalence and location of each school district (urban vs. rural). Two out of the three urban school districts had higher asthma prevalence than five of the rural school districts. However, three school districts did not follow this pattern, either being lower than expected for an urban area or higher than expected for a rural area. Asthma hospitalization rates increased for most children between 1990 and 1995, with a 20-fold increase for ages 15-19 years. The results of this study show an increase in prevalence and severity of asthma in school children in Lane County. Further studies are warranted to investigate the contribution that geography, meteorology, and proximity to industry have in asthma prevalence in Lane County.
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