Author(s): Lee T, Brugge D, Francis C, Fisher O
OBJECTIVE: Though asthma has been studied in many inner-city populations in the United States, there have been no studies specifically on Asian American immigrants. The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of the prevalence of asthma among schoolchildren at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, located in Boston Chinatown. Roughly 62% of the students in the school are Asian American. METHODS: The authors utilized the Brief Asthma Pediatric Screen (BAPS), a five-question instrument that was validated through the Chicago public schools. The survey was administered to kindergarten through fifth grade students. RESULTS: Of the 606 respondents (69.9% of the students), 16% had previously diagnosed asthma and 3% had possible undiagnosed asthma. Asthma was more prevalent in boys than in girls (relative risk [RR] 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20, 2.56). In addition, the respondents who lived in Chinatown were less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma (RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.39, 0.90), as were those with Asian surnames (RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.44, 0.97). CONCLUSION: Although this study was preliminary, our results suggest that asthma rates are substantial among inner-city Asian immigrant children, but possibly lower than for other inner-city children.