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7 PREVALENCE OF AEROALLERGEN SENSITIZATION AMONG MIDDLE- AND LOW-INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN (AA) AND NON-AA ASTHMATICS IN THE INNER CITY OF CHICAGO.
  1. L. C. Grammer,
  2. K. E. Harris,
  3. L. M. Curtis,
  4. C. A. Saltoun,
  5. J. J. Shannon
  1. Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

Rationale The prevalence of asthma is increasing, especially among inner-city populations; aeroallergen sensitization may be a contributing factor. Our objective is to compare the prevalence of aeroallergen sensitization between low- and moderate-income, African American (AA) and non-AA asthmatics living in Chicago's inner city.

Methods The study sample is derived from the ongoing CHIRAH study: Chicago Health Initiative to Raise Asthma Health Equity. Participants are identified through the Chicago public and archdiocesan elementary schools. There were 37 middle-income (> $30,000 annual household income) and 52 low-income (< $30,000 annual household income) asthmatics, age 8 to 40 years, in whom specific aeroallergen IgE testing was performed: Alternaria, cat, cockroach, dog, dust mite, mouse, oak, ragweed, rat, and rye grass.

Results Using Fisher's exact statistics to compare the rate of allergen sensitization between low-income AAs and the other groups combined, a greater proportion of low-income AAs were sensitized to rat compared with other groups (p = .045). There was a trend for a greater proportion of low-income AAs to be sensitized to mouse (p = .057).

Conclusion Sensitization to rat and mouse is more frequent in low-income AA asthmatics than in middle-income AAs or non-AAs, irrespective of income.

Grant support: NHLBI UO1HL72478 and the Ernest S Bazley Trust.

Prevalence of Sensitization to Rat and Mouse

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