Asthma in kids is a lens to understand how racism and inequity lead to poor health

By Arturo Brito, MD

Children in this country should not die of asthma. But 145 did in 2021; three in four
were Black or Hispanic. Long Island is one place where such disparities are hidden
within affluence: Asthma disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic children and
those in high-poverty neighborhoods. Wyandanch, a predominantly Black and brown
hamlet, has some of the highest rates of asthma and the highest rate of pediatric asthma
emergencies on the Island

Of the nearly 5 million U.S. children with asthma, those in the poorest households have
an asthma rate 1.5 times greater than those in the highest-income households, per the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Non-Hispanic Black children have higher
rates than non-Hispanic white children…

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