Reduced prevalence of childhood asthma after housing renovations in an underresourced community

J Allergy Clin Immunol Glob. 2023 Nov;2(4):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jacig.2023.100143.


Background: Despite improvements in asthma symptom management and asthma morbidity, the prevalence of asthma in the United States remains high, especially in underresourced communities.

Objective: Our goal was to determine whether housing renovations affect the prevalence of asthma in an underresourced community.

Methods: The Fay Apartments (~800 units) in Cincinnati, Ohio, were renovated to "green building" standards between 2010 and 2012 and renamed the Villages at Roll Hill. The prevalence of asthma among 7-year-olds in the Villages at Roll Hill was determined by accessing Ohio Medicaid data for the years 2013 to 2021.

Results: In the first 6 years after the renovations (2013-2018), the prevalence of asthma among 7-year-olds in the community averaged 12.7%. In contrast, in postrenovation years 7 through 9 (2019-2021), the average prevalence of asthma was 5.9%. Logistic regression modeling for the log odds of asthma diagnosis in this age group was used to test the statistical significance of asthma prevalence for 2013-2018 versus for 2019-2021. The model resulted in demonstration of a significant (P < .001) reduction in asthma prevalence between 2013-2018 and 2019-2021.

Conclusions: The renovation of an underresourced community's housing resulted in a lower prevalence of asthma for 7-year-olds who were born after the renovations had been completed.

Keywords: African American; Black; asthma; green building; infants.