Subject: Studies in the News 04-42 (June 21, 2004)

Studies in the News
Health Supplement: Asthma

Contents This Week

Introductory Material HEALTH
   Latino children with asthma
   Risk factors for asthma in adults
   Asthma among homeless children
   Asthma patients living near Ground Zero after 9-11
   Neighborhood-level variation in asthma
   Asthma and allergy survival plan
   Overview of asthma and state policies
   State programs addressing asthma
   State legislation and asthma
   Inner city children and asthma
   Medicaid recipients with asthma
   Variations in asthma according to race
   Involving parents of children with asthma
   Impacts of climate change in the inner city
   Respiratory disease and pollution
   Health behaviors and asthma
   Children and asthma medications
   Construction chemicals contributing to asthma
   School-based asthma treatment programs
   Comprehensive school-based treatment programs
   History of ear infections and prevalence of asthma
   Relationship between socioeconomic status and asthma
   Asthma prevention study
   Studies in the News, December 2003
   Studies in the News, March 2004
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



“Latino Children with Asthma: Rates and Risks for Medical Care Utilization.” By Jill Berg and others, UCLA School of Nursing. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 41, no. 2 (April 2004) pp. 147–157.

["Latino families have been reported to underutilize health care services compared with families from other ethnic backgrounds. As part of a community trial in a low income Latino population designed to decrease environmental tobacco smoke exposure in children with asthma in San Diego, [the authors] examined unscheduled medical care for asthma."]

[Request #S3252]

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“Risk Factors for Asthma in U.S. Adults: Results from the 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.” By R. Charon Gwynn, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 41, no. 1 (March 1, 2004) pp. 91-98.

[“Identifying populations at risk for having asthma is an essential step toward appropriately allocating resources and reducing the burden of this disease. … We found that women were more likely than men to report current asthma; adults aged 35–64 were less likely than adults aged 18–34 to report current asthma; persons from the lower socioeconomic status were more likely to report current asthma.”]

[Request #S3253]

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“Asthma Among Homeless Children: Undercounting and Undertreating the Underserved.” By Diane E. McLean, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 158, no. 3 (March 2004) pp. 244-249.

["The prevalence of asthma among a random sample of homeless children in New York City is likely to be 39.8%-more than 6 times the national rate for children. Asthma in homeless children is also likely to be severe and substantially undertreated."]

[Request #S3254]

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“Clinical Deterioration in Pediatric Asthmatic Patients after September 11, 2001.” By Anthony M. Szema, Stony Brook School of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, and others. IN: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 113, no. 3 (March 2004) pp. 420-426.

[“Asthma severity worsened after September 11, 2001, in pediatric asthmatic patients living near Ground Zero. Residential proximity to Ground Zero was predictive of the degree of decrease in asthma health.”]

[Request #S3255]

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“Exploring Neighborhood-level Variation in Asthma and other Respiratory Diseases.” By Kathleen A. Cagney and Christopher R. Browning. IN: Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 19, no. 3 (March 2004) pp. 229-236.

[“Neighborhood context, particularly collective efficacy, may be an underlying factor that reduces vulnerability to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Collective efficacy may enhance the ability to garner health-relevant resources, eliminate environmental hazards that trigger asthma, and promote communication among residents which, in turn, enables dissemination of information relevant to respiratory ailments.”]

[Request #S3256]

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The Asthma and Allergy Action Plan for Kids: a Complete Program to Help Your Child Live a Full and Active Life. By Allen J. Dozor and Kate Kelly. (Simon and Schuster, New York, New York) 2004. 404 p.

["Statistics show that up to 40 percent of children in the United States suffer from allergies and at least 10 percent suffer from asthma. That translates into almost five million American children affected by both allergies and asthma... Some of the most upsetting effects of allergies and asthma are the psychological wounds inflicted on a child's self-image. There is the constant protectiveness from caregivers, confusing limits and rules, headaches, obesity, shortness of breath, and sleep deprivation. In some cases these side effects, such as stress and obesity, cycle back to make the original condition worse. This book offers a plan to empower both parents and children."] Note: The Asthma and Allergy ... is available for three day loan.

[Request #S3257]

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State Actions to Address Asthma. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asthma: Innovations in State Policy. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2003. 10 p.

["A chronic disease that affects 5 percent of all Americans, asthma cases have grown 74 percent since 1980 and show no sign of decreasing. This publication highlights causes of the disease, how it's treated, actions taken to mitigate environmental factors that trigger it or add to the severity of attacks and overall policies addressing this chronic illness."]

[Request #S3258]

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Individual State Programs Related to Asthma. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asthma: Innovations in State Policy. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2003. 11 p.

["The public health policymaking process and the resulting policies that have been enacted to address asthma in seven states -- California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon and Washington -- are reviewed in this paper. Connecticut, Georgia and Washington have funding to plan and develop an asthma surveillance system. The other four states have completed the planning process and are implementing the plan. Some other states have developed asthma programs without federal money, while others have taken no action at all."]

[Request #S3260]

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Legislative Actions Related to Asthma. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asthma: Innovations in State Policy. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2003. 15 p.

["State governments conduct most public health work, which means they can have a significant influence on asthma. Rarely, however, do they actively fund public health efforts. They regulate the threats and environmental factors that trigger asthma attacks and, by using their environmental laws with an eye toward asthma, can take significant steps in reining in this disease... Since 2000, legislatures have introduced 220 bills related to asthma; 79 have been enacted. These bills range from permitting children to bring asthma medicine to school to banning smoking in public places as a benefit to asthmatics."]

[Request #S3261]

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“A School-Based Case Identification Process for Identifying Inner City Children With Asthma: The Breathmobile Program.” By Craig A. Jones, Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and others. IN: Chest, vol. 124, no. 3 (March 2004) pp 924-934.

[“The Breathmobile case-detection process offers a validated, comprehensive, large-scale method with which to identify children with asthma at their school sites.”]

[Request #S3262]

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“A Survey of Medicaid Recipients With Asthma: Perceptions of Self-Management, Access, and Care.” By Joseph Anarella, Bureau of Quality Management and Outcomes Research, Office of Managed Care, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, and others. IN: Chest, vol. 125, no. 4 (April 2004) pp.1359-1367.

["Patients with asthma rated the quality of the information that their physicians provide very highly and reported that they understand how to treat exacerbatios. However, they do not take prescribed inhaled steroids on a daily basis. In addition, many patients reside in homes where cigarette smoking is present."]

[Request #S3263]

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“Variations in Asthma Care by Race/Ethnicity Among Children Enrolled in a State Medicaid Program.” By Alexandra E. Shields, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 3 (March 2004) pp. 496-504.

[“This study demonstrates important differences in the process of care experienced by racial/ethnic subpopulations within a Medicaid population, which may help explain differential outcomes. Efforts to improve asthma outcomes should target specific areas in which black and Hispanic children may be receiving suboptimal care.”]

[Request #S3264]

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"Involving Parents and Families in Clinical Nursing: Having a Child with Asthma – Quality of Life for Swedish Parents.” By Ann-Charlotte Dalheim-Englund, and others, College of Health Sciences, Boras University. IN: Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 13, no.3 (March 2004) pp. 386 – 395.

[“The Paediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality Of Life Questionnaire (PACQLQ) was used to measure the parents’ QoL, i.e. how the child's asthma interferes with the parents’ normal activities and how it has made them feel. Significant associations were found between parents’ lower QoL outcome and living in the North of Sweden. There were also significant associations between fathers’ lower QoL outcome and having a child younger than 13 years of age and mothers’ lower QoL outcome and having a child with severe asthma.”]

[Request #S3265]

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Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City. By Paul R. Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment and Christine Rogers, Harvard School of Public Health. (Results for America, Boston, Massachusetts) April 2004. 28 p.

Full Text at:

[“The combination of air pollutants, aeroallergens, heatwaves and unhealthy air masses, increasingly associated with a changing climate, causes damage to the respiratory systems, particularly for growing children, and these impacts disproportionately affect poor and minority groups in the inner cities.”]

[Request #S3266]

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“Spatial Relationships Among Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Utilization, and Pollution Sources in Neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York.” By J. Tonny Oyana and Jamson S. Lwebuga-Mukasa, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Buffalo. IN: Journal of Environmental Health, vol. 66, no.8 (April 2004) pp.25-37.

[“This study shows a statistically significant association between proximity of residence to pollution release sources and diagnosed asthma. The data further show that residents who live in close proximity to pollution sources and who are of predominantly low socioeconomic status have a high respiratory-disease burden.”]

[Request #S3268]

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“Understanding Pediatric Inner-City Asthma: An Explanatory Model Approach.” By Lauren Handelman, Harvard Medical School, and others. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 41, no. 2 (April 2004) pp. 167-177.

[“Explanatory models for asthma among inner-city school-age children and their families were examined as a means of better understanding health behaviors. Children and parents were interviewed about their concepts of asthma etiology, asthma medications, and alternative therapies.”]

[Request #S3269]

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“Why Don't Children Take Their Asthma Medications? A Qualitative Analysis of Children's Perspectives on Adherence.” By Susan M. Penza-Clyve, Division of Child and Family Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, and others. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 41, no. 2 (April 2004) pp.189-197.

[“Focus groups were conducted with children with asthma to generate descriptive data regarding asthma adherence. … Barriers to medication adherence were lack of motivation, difficulties remembering, and social barriers. … Motivational strategies (i.e., use of reward as positive reinforcement) were the most highly endorsed.”]

[Request #S3270]

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“Asthma, Wheezing, and Allergies in Russian School Children in Relation to New Surface Materials in the Home.” By Jouni J.K. Jaakkola, Institute of Occupational Health, University of Birmingham. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 4 (April 2004) pp. 560-562.

[“In a cross-sectional study of 5951 Russian 8-12-year-old schoolchildren, risks of current asthma, wheezing, and allergy were related to recent renovation and the installation of materials with potential chemical emissions. New linoleum flooring, synthetic carpeting, particleboard, wall coverings, and furniture and recent painting were determinants of 1 or more of these 3 health outcomes.”]

[Request #S3271]

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“Benefits of a School-based Asthma Treatment Program in the Absence of Secondhand Smoke Exposure.” By Jill S. Halterman, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Strong Children's Research Center, and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 158, no.5 (May 2004) pp.460-467.

[“School-based provision of inhaled corticosteroids significantly improved symptoms, quality of life, and absenteeism among urban children with mild persistent to severe persistent asthma. This effect was seen only among children not exposed to secondhand smoke.”]

[Request #S3272]

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“Effects of a Comprehensive School-based Asthma Program on Symptoms, Parent Management, Grades, and Absenteeism.” By Noreen M. Clark, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and others. IN: Chest, vol. 25, no. 5 (May 2004) pp.1674-1679.

[“This study assessed the impact of a comprehensive school-based asthma program on symptoms, grades, and school absences in children, and parents’ asthma management practices…. The intervention entailed six components for children, their parents, classmates, and school personnel to encourage and enable disease management…. Overall, the intervention provided significant benefits, particularly for children with persistent asthma.”] Note to Rebecca: This article is available full text in EBSCOHost Health Source: Nursing/ Academic

[Request #S3273]

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“History of Ear Infections and Prevalence of Asthma in a National Sample of Children Aged 2 to 11 Years: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 to 1994.” By Kamal Eldeirawi and Victoria W. Persky, School of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago. IN: Chest, vol. 125, no. 5 (May 2004) pp. 1685-1692.

[“Our study indicated strong and significant associations of a history of asthma and wheezing with the frequency of ear infections in a nationally representative sample of 7,538 children aged 2 to 11 years.”]

[Request #S3274]

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“Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Asthma: A Longitudinal Cohort Study.” By R. J. Hancox, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, and others. IN: Thorax, vol. 59, no. 5 (May 2004) pp. 376-380.

[“We report a prospective cohort study of approximately 1000 individuals born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972–3. This sample has been assessed regularly throughout childhood and into adulthood. No consistent association was found between childhood or adult socioeconomic status and asthma prevalence, lung function, or airway responsiveness at any age. Having asthma made no difference to educational attainment or socioeconomic status by age 26.”]

[Request #S3275]

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“The Canadian Asthma Primary Prevention Study: Outcomes at 2 Years of Age.” By Allan Becker, Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, and others. IN: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 113, no. 4 (April 2004) pp. 650-656.

[“We identified 545 high-risk infants on the basis of an immediate family history of asthma. Families were randomized into intervention or control groups. Intervention measures included avoidance of house dust mite, pet allergen, and environmental tobacco smoke….This multifaceted intervention program during a window of opportunity in the first year of life was effective in preventing asthma in high-risk children at 2 years of age.”]

[Request #S3276]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Asthma Supplement.]

"Health: Asthma Supplement." IN: Studies in the News, 03-84 (December 22, 2003).

Full Text at:

[Includes: "High body mass index and asthma "Asthma care comparison "Inhaled corticosteroids in childhood asthma "Obesity and asthma "Need to increase influenza vaccinations "Flu shots prevent hospitalizations "Access to allergy medications "Disease management and asthma morbidity "On-the-job asthma "Cohort study of childhood asthma "Asthma in California "Smoking and teens with asthma "Ozone, fine particles and children with asthma "Asthma intervention program "Body-mass index as a predictor of asthma;" "Diesel exhaust and asthma;" "Occupation correlations with asthma;" "Oakland air and asthma;" "Early exposure to chemicals harmful;" "Home monitoring via an interactive Web site;" and others.]

[Request #S3259]

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"Health: Asthma Supplement." IN: Studies in the News, 04-19 (March 2004).

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Parents of kids with asthma;" "Environmental risk factors for asthma;" "Misunderstandings about asthma inhalers;" "Parent's perceptions of children's health;" "Switching to cleaner school bus fuels;" "Characteristics of childrens' asthma episodes;" "Environmental tobacco smoke and asthma;" "Food and asthma in young adults;" "Mold and asthma;" "Asthma in California;" "School nurses' competence towards asthma;" "Asthma management for inner-city children;" "Cashew allergy;" "Asthma among schoolchildren;" "Traffic related air pollution and childhood asthma;" "Specialist nurses reduce asthma emergencies;" "Air pollution and workplace asthma;" "Maternal smoking in pregnancy;" "Ethnicity and skin test reactivity to aeroallergens;" "Asthma rates in Los Angeles due to exhaust;" "Tobacco smoke exposure;" "Results of pediatric asthma programs;" and others.]

[Request #S3277]

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