News Release

Neighborhoods can affect the need for urgent asthma care

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American College of Chest Physicians

TORONTO (October 23, 2017) -In a new study presented at CHEST 2017, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York aimed to determine if the associations between combustion-related air pollutant levels and urgent asthma care differed by neighborhood in New York City. The research revealed asthma prevalence and emergency department visits for asthma vary widely among different neighborhoods.

Concentrations of annual average nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and elemental carbon and summer average sulfur dioxide were significantly higher in neighborhoods with higher asthma prevalence than in those with lower prevalence. Nitrogen dioxide and elemental carbon particulate matter were associated with greater prevalence of urgent asthma care. Neighborhood asthma prevalence modified the relationship between pollutant levels and urgent asthma care. Associations between pollutants and urgent asthma care were observed onlyamong children in lower asthma prevalence neighborhoods.

Researchers concluded that the relationship between street level pollutant levels and urgent asthma care was stronger among children who lived in lower asthma prevalence neighborhoods compared withthose with high asthma prevalence.

"The lack of significant relationships between pollution and urgent asthma care in high asthma prevalence neighborhoods suggests that the influence of additional environmental and biological factors may be more influential in those neighborhoods," states lead researcher Dr. Lovinsky-Desir, "yet pollutant exposure modeled at residential street level remained an important predictor of urgent asthma visits in lower asthma prevalence neighborhoods of urban New York City."

Further results from this study will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2017 in Toronto on Sunday, October 29, from 7:45 AM-8:00 AMat the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Room 606. The study abstract can be viewed on the journal CHEST® website.



CHEST 2017 is the 83rd annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 28-November 1, 2017, in Toronto, Ontario. The American College of Chest Physicians, publisher of the journalCHEST®, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST 2017, visit, or follow CHEST meeting hashtag, #CHEST2017, on social media.

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