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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

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Volume 12, Issue 4

Issues

Traffic-related air pollution and pediatric asthma in Durham County, North Carolina

Hilary Henry
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA;
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Rebecca Anthopolos
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA;
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Pamela Maxson
  • Corresponding author
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA;
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2013-0209

Abstract

Past studies have shown that traffic-related air pollution may increase pediatric asthma prevalence. We analyzed the relationship between distance of a child’s home to roadways and asthma prevalence in Durham County, North Carolina (NC). Data for children aged 5–12 years and with permanent addresses in Durham County were taken from the Decision Support Repository, an electronic warehouse of all patient records in the Duke University Hospital System. Records were analyzed using logistic regression analysis. Controlling for child race, age, sex, and household median income at the block group level, children who lived <75 m away from a local road were 20% less likely to be diagnosed with asthma. Our model did not show a relationship between the distance of a home to roadways and pediatric asthma prevalence for homes located at farther distances from local roads, or at any distance from NC State highways, US highways, or interstates. Our results indicate that traffic-related air pollution is not a major determinant for pediatric asthma prevalence in Durham County. As a generally low pollution area, the effects of traffic-related pollution may be less pronounced in Durham than in higher pollution areas. However, limitations in our modeling methods may have hindered our ability to detect a relationship. As the best strategy for decreasing the effects of traffic-related air pollution is to reduce other risk factors, Durham County can now take steps to break the cycle of disadvantage and disability of pediatric asthma, no matter the effect of traffic-related air pollution.

Keywords: disability; pediatric asthma; public health; roadways; traffic-related air pollution

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About the article

Corresponding author: Professor Pamela Maxson, PhD, Research Director, Director of Human Resources, Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, Box 90328, A137 LSRC, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA, E-mail:


Received: 2012-10-14

Accepted: 2012-12-15

Published Online: 2013-11-08

Published in Print: 2013-11-01


Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 467–471, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2013-0209.

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