Background: Little is known about asthma control in adolescents who were exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks of 11 September 2001 and diagnosed with asthma after 9/11. This report examines asthma and asthma control 10-11 y after 9/11 among exposed adolescents.
Methods: The WTC Health Registry adolescent Wave 3 survey (2011-2012) collected data on asthma diagnosed by a physician after 11 September 2001, extent of asthma control based on modified National Asthma Education and Prevention Program criteria, probable mental health conditions, and behavior problems. Parents reported healthcare needs and 9/11-exposures. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between asthma and level of asthma control and 9/11-exposure, mental health and behavioral problems, and unmet healthcare needs.
Results: Poorly/very poorly controlled asthma was significantly associated with a household income of ≤$75,000 (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 3.0; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1-8.8), having unmet healthcare needs (AOR: 6.2; 95% CI: 1.4-27.1), and screening positive for at least one mental health condition (AOR: 5.0; 95% CI: 1.4-17.7), but not with behavioral problems. The impact of having at least one mental health condition on the level of asthma control was substantially greater in females than in males.
Conclusions: Comprehensive care of post-9/11 asthma in adolescents should include management of mental health-related comorbidities.