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Latino children with asthma less accurate in determining their lung function
Date:8/9/2010

diatric chronic illness in the United States, affecting an estimated 4.8 million children. Minority children are disproportionately affected by asthma. Non-Latino black and Puerto Rican children have higher prevalence rates compared to non-Latino white children. Overall, Puerto Rican children have the highest prevalence of all groups 140 percent higher than non-Latino white children.

The study included 512 children with asthma between the ages 7-16; 222 were from the Providence area and 290 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of the Rhode Island children, 115 were Latino and 107 were non Latinos whites. All children were trained to use a home spirometer to measure their peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), a test that determines how fast a person can exhale air, twice a day for five weeks. Study participants guessed what they thought their PERF would be, based on how they were feeling, before performing the actual test. The results were compared to determine the child's perceptual accuracy, which fell into three zones: accurate, danger (child misses clinically significant pulmonary function compromise), and magnification (oversensitivity to minimal compromise).

The results show that in addition to ethnicity, younger age, female sex, lower intelligence and poverty were also associated with less accurate pulmonary function perception. Island Puerto Rican children had the lowest accuracy and highest magnification scores followed by Rhode Island Latinos; both differed significantly from non-Latino white children.


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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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