Urban asthma and the neighbourhood environment in New York City

Health Place. 2006 Jun;12(2):167-79. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2004.11.002. Epub 2005 Jan 21.


Asthma is now the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and missed school days in New York City's poorest neighbourhoods. While most research focuses on the influence of the indoor environment on asthma, this study examines the neighbourhood effects on childhood asthma, such as housing and ambient environmental hazards. Using Geographic Information Science (GI Science) we identify neighbourhoods with elevated concentrations of childhood asthma hospitalizations between 1997 and 2000 in US census tracts, analyze the sociodemographic, housing characteristics, and air pollution burdens from stationary, land use and mobile sources in these areas. The paper reveals the importance of distinguishing the specific and often different combinations of poor housing conditions, outdoor air pollution and noxious land uses that contribute to the high incidence of asthma in impoverished urban neighbourhoods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / ethnology
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Housing / standards
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Residence Characteristics / classification*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*