During a summer when poor air quality alerts left many families worried about their children’s respiratory health, a new study from Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) has found a link between higher air pollution and longer hospital stays for children with asthma in the Bronx.
While asthma is a leading cause of pediatric hospitalization nationwide, its prevalence among Bronx children—a staggering 17%—is nearly three times the national average. Socioeconomic factors and home environmental triggers, like highway pollution, mold and pests can also increase asthma risk.
“We know that the Bronx has poor air quality and has been in violation of federal air quality standards,” said Elissa B. Gross, DO, MPH, Attending Physician, Hospital Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, and Assistant Professor, Clinical Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who led a team of investigators for the study titled “Childhood Asthma in the Bronx, NY; the Impact of Pollutants on Length of Hospital Stay,” which was published in June in the Journal of Asthma. “Given climate change and worsening air quality in general, asthma has the potential to become even more of a problem in the Bronx.”