Assessment of Asthma Outcomes and Risk Factors in School Children from Clairton, PA
Sunday, March 4, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Nicole L. Sossong, BS, Albert Presto, Tricia Morphew, MSc, Jennifer P Elliott, Deborah A. Gentile, MD
RATIONALE: Childhood asthma remains a public health concern and various risk factors, including exposure to outdoor air pollution (OAP), contribute to poor outcomes. Clairton, PA is located 15 miles south of Pittsburgh and is home to a large coke works facility. The purpose of this study was to assess asthma outcomes and relevant risk factors in schoolchildren from Clairton.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from Clairton Elementary School. Asthma prevalence and control were assessed using a validated survey. Assessed risk factors included demographics, socioeconomic status, BMI, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure (salivary cotinine levels), and OAP exposure (mobile PM2.5 sampling platform).

RESULTS: 213 subjects enrolled (mean ±STD age was 7.6±1.7 years; 49% male). 63% were African American, and 12.0% were other minorities. 92% had public health insurance. The prevalence of physician diagnosed asthma was 18.4% and 64.1% had uncontrolled disease. Obesity was noted in 25.1%, and ETS was measured in 51.7%. Greater than 60% had PM2.5 exposure >12.0 ug/m3, the CDC threshold to reduce premature mortality. Those residing in the prevailing wind path and closest to the coke works facility had significant increases in OAP exposure (p<0.001 for both).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of childhood asthma and poor disease control are elevated in Clairton. This community also has high rates of racial and socioeconomic disparities, as well as elevated exposures to a variety of asthma risk factors including obesity, ETS and OAP. Future efforts need to focus on reducing exposure to risk factors and improving asthma outcomes in this disparate population.