Daily Archives: April 9, 2015

Poverty, Not Urban Residence, Increases Risk of Asthma

Corinne A. Keet, Meredith C. McCormack, Craig E. Pollack, Roger D. Peng, Emily McGowan, Elizabeth C. Matsui. Neighborhood poverty, urban residence, race/ethnicity, and asthma: Rethinking the inner-city asthma epidemic. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. March 2015 Volume 135, Issue 3, Pages 655–662. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.11.022

Background: Although it is thought that inner-city areas have a high burden of asthma, the prevalence of asthma in inner cities across the United States is not known.

Objective: We sought to estimate the prevalence of current asthma in US children living in inner-city and non–inner-city areas and to examine whether urban residence, poverty, or race/ethnicity are the main drivers of asthma disparities.

Methods: The National Health Interview Survey 2009-2011 was linked by census tract to data from the US Census and the National Center for Health Statistics. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for sex; age; race/ethnicity; residence in an urban, suburban, medium metro, or small metro/rural area; poverty; and birth outside the United States, with current asthma and asthma morbidity as outcome variables. Inner-city areas were defined as urban areas with 20% or more of households at below the poverty line.

Results: We included 23,065 children living in 5,853 census tracts. The prevalence of current asthma was 12.9% in inner-city and 10.6% in non–inner-city areas, but this difference was not significant after adjusting for race/ethnicity, region, age, and sex. In fully adjusted models black race, Puerto Rican ethnicity, and lower household income but not residence in poor or urban areas were independent risk factors for current asthma. Household poverty increased the risk of asthma among non-Hispanics and Puerto Ricans but not among other Hispanics. Associations with asthma morbidity were very similar to those with prevalent asthma.

Conclusions: Although the prevalence of asthma is high in some inner-city areas, this is largely explained by demographic factors and not by living in an urban neighborhood.

Click here for full article (Open Access).

Pharmaceuticals in River Watersheds, China

Sun J, Luo Q, Wang D, Wang Z. Occurrences of pharmaceuticals in drinking water sources of major river watersheds, China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 2015 Apr 3;117:132-140. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.03.032.

Pharmaceuticals in drinking water sources (DWSs) have raised significant concerns for their persistent input and potential human health risks. Currently, little is known about the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in DWSs in China. In this study, a survey for multi-class pharmaceuticals in DWSs of five major river watersheds in China was conducted from 2012 to 2013. Samples were collected from 25 sampling sites in rivers and reservoirs. 135 pharmaceuticals were analyzed using solid-phase extraction and ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The results showed that a total of 70 pharmaceuticals were present in the samples, and the most frequently detected ones included sulfonamides, macrolides, antiepileptic drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and β-blockers, etc. Amongst these, maximum concentrations of lincomycin, sulfamethoxazole, acetaminophen and paraxanthine were between 44ng/L and 134ng/L, and those of metoprolol, diphenhydramine, venlafaxine, nalidixic acid and androstenedione were less than 1ng/L. Concentrations of the two that were most persistent, DEET and carbamazepine, were 0.8-10.2ng/L and 0.01-3.5ng/L, respectively. Higher concentrations of cotinine were observed in warm season than in cold season, while concentrations of lincomycin were the opposite. In a causality analysis, the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in DWSs depends mainly on the detection limits of the methods, their usage and the persistence in the aquatic environment.