Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 116–129

Individual, Housing, and Neighborhood Correlates of Asthma among Young Urban Children

  • Elizabeth W. Holt
  • Katherine P. Theall
  • Felicia A. Rabito

DOI: 10.1007/s11524-012-9709-3

Cite this article as:
Holt, E.W., Theall, K.P. & Rabito, F.A. J Urban Health (2013) 90: 116. doi:10.1007/s11524-012-9709-3


Using data from a large cohort of urban children, this study identified multilevel correlates of asthma to determine whether neighborhood attributes remain associated with asthma after adjustment for individual level and immediate housing characteristics. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study and its substudy, the In-Home Longitudinal Study of Pre-Schooled Age Children (n = 1,784). The primary outcome was asthma diagnosis by age 5. Sociodemographic measures were assessed via telephone survey, housing and block conditions recorded via direct observation, and neighborhood characteristics came from geocoded census tract data. After multivariable adjustment, non-Hispanic Black, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic race, child’s lack of insurance coverage, male gender, presence of allergies, the exterior condition of a child’s home, mother’s educational attainment, and the percent of the neighborhood population with a bachelor’s degree remained significantly associated with having received an asthma diagnosis by age 5. The authors identified sociodemographic and economic factors at the individual, household, and neighborhood level which are correlates of childhood asthma in urban areas. After adjustment for more proximal characteristics, the effects of all neighborhood markers were minimal, with the exception of neighborhood education.


Asthma Young children Neighborhood Social Economic 



Fragile Families and Child Well-being


Federal poverty level


Interquartile range


In-Home Longitudinal Study of Pre-Schooled Age Children

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth W. Holt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine P. Theall
    • 3
  • Felicia A. Rabito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyTulane School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health ResearchOchsner Clinic FoundationNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA