Ethnic disparities in asthma morbidity in Chicago

Arthur T. Evans, Laura S. Sadowski, Tyler J. Vanderweele, Laura M. Curtis, Lisa K. Sharp, Romina A. Kee, Leslie C. Grammer, Christopher S. Lyttle, Kevin B. Weiss, John J. Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Rationale. The role of ethnicity and socioeconomic status in explaining variations in asthma morbidity is unclear. Objectives. To describe the magnitude of ethnic disparities in asthma morbidity in Chicago and to determine whether differences in socioeconomic status explain these disparities. Methods. We conducted a survey of 561 school-age children and 353 young adults with asthma and measured their self-reported ethnicity, socioeconomic status (using 11 variables), and asthma morbidity (symptom frequency, asthma-specific quality of life, and frequency of severe asthma exacerbations). Measurements and Main Results. White children and adults had better asthma-specific quality of life and fewer severe asthma exacerbations compared to black and Hispanic children and adults. White children also had fewer days with asthma symptoms, but among adults there were no ethnic differences in the frequency of asthma symptoms. Socioeconomic status explained a large portion of the ethnic disparities in asthma quality of life but explained little of the disparities in other aspects of asthma morbidity. Conclusions. There are large disparities across ethnic groups in Chicago in asthma quality of life and in the frequency of severe exacerbations. Differences in socioeconomic status do not fully explain these disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-454
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Asthma
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic disparities
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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