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USA Today: Black and Hispanic children suffer disproportionately from asthma. Climate change is making it worse.

By Nada Hassanein

Black and Hispanic kids disproportionately suffer from asthma. Both are twice as likely as white children to be hospitalized for asthma. Black children are four times and Hispanics 40% more likely to die from the disease. Studies have shown that poorer Black children are more likely than white children to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for “critical and near-fatal” childhood asthma.

As climate change creates record-breaking temperatures that plague the nation, experts warn of disparate, worsening asthma and breathing conditions among children of color.

Higher temperatures mean higher levels of ozone, a gas that forms from burning fossil fuels. That’s a particular concern for inner-city kids of formerly redlined neighborhoods because of the urban heat island effect, which occurs when certain neighborhoods are exposed to more pollutions. These communities also have less green spaces. All of those factors make these areas hotter than other parts of a city, explained Dr. Bridgette Jones, an allergist and pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Extreme heat is one of the contributors or causes of asthma and particularly asthma exacerbation,” she said. “On days where there are higher temperatures, and there's high ozone levels due to the higher temperatures, there's increased asthma exacerbations, particularly among children.”


Read the full article via USA Today

Children's Mercy Allergy & Immunology

Children's Mercy Kansas City Research Institute