White children suffer from asthma due to higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) more frequently than their black counterparts, a new Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study finds.
The researchers studied 758 children aged between 1 and 16 admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for asthma or wheezing.
Of those studied, nearly 58 percent were black and 32 percent white.
Nineteen percent of all children were re-admitted within a 12-month period.
The study shows that white children exposed to high levels of TRAP are three times more likely to be re-admitted for asthma than black children with low TRAP exposure.
“Although black children in our study had a higher rate of asthma re-admission overall, TRAP exposure was not a discernible factor for these children,” explained Nicholas Newman, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study.
TRAP is a complex mixture of chemicals and particles.
These small particles have greater potential to be inhaled into the lung, where they can cause swelling that blocks airways.
The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.