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Poor Quality Housing Tied to Higher Asthma Rates Among Kids

As number of cockroach, mold infestations rose, so did hospitalizations for respiratory attacks, study found

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There's more evidence that poorer housing is tied to higher rates of asthma attacks among kids.

In a new study, researchers led by Dr. Andrew Beck, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, tracked links between community housing code violations -- infractions such as the presence in homes of mold and cockroaches -- and the health of more than 4,300 children, aged 1 to 16.

All of the children were hospitalized for asthma attacks at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center between 2009 and 2012.

Beck's team found that children who lived in areas with higher numbers of housing code violations were nearly twice as likely to be re-hospitalized or to revisit the emergency department within 12 months, compared to those who lived in areas with fewer housing violations.

That means that, "local agencies that enforce housing policies can partner with health care systems to target pediatric asthma care," Beck said in a hospital news release. "These agencies retain data that can be used to pinpoint potential clusters of high asthma [illness]."

The study appears in the November issue of the journal Health Affairs.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about asthma.

SOURCE: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, news release, Nov. 3, 2014
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