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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GONZALES, Melissa; MALCOE, Lorraine H.; MYERS, Orrin B.  and  ESPINOZA, Judith. Risk factors for asthma and cough among Hispanic children in the southwestern United States of America, 2003-2004. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.5, pp.274-281. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and mother's place of birth (Mexico vs. United States of America) on the prevalence of asthma and dry nighttime cough among children 2-12 years old residing in the southwestern United States. METHODS: Data were collected from November 2003 through March 2004 as part of a health survey of Hispanic mothers with young children who sought emergency, nutrition, or other clinical services. Information about respiratory health was obtained for one randomly selected child per United States-born (no. = 144) or Mexico-born (no. = 125) mother. Information on maternal and household sociodemographic variables, smoking, parental asthma, and child's exposure to room or automobile ETS during the previous seven days was also collected. Adjusted prevalence ratios were estimated with modified Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Most sociodemographic and ETS exposure variables differed significantly by mother's country of birth. Modeled asthma prevalence was 1.95 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-3.68] times greater in children of United States-born mothers than children of Mexico-born mothers. This difference persisted after known asthma risk factors were controlled for, including parental asthma, socioeconomic and demographic variables, and child ETS exposure. Childrens' recent automobile ETS exposure was associated with dry nighttime cough [adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.19-3.15] and asthma (PR = 2.09; 95% CI = 0.99-4.39). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to ETS in automobiles is an important risk factor for asthma and dry nighttime cough among Hispanic children in the southwest United States, regardless of mother's country of birth. Further research is needed to identify causes of the higher prevalence of asthma in Hispanic children of United States-born mothers.

Keywords : Asthma; child; child, preschool; cough; Hispanic American; tobacco smoke pollution; United States.

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