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Asthma patterns in Boston emergency department visits for children age five and under


The burden of asthma on the youngest children in Boston is largely characterized through hospitalizations and self-report surveys. Hospitalization rates are highest in Black and Hispanic populations under age five. A study of children living in Boston public housing showed significant risk factors, including obesity and pest infestation, with less than half of the study population being prescribed daily medication.

Information on asthma visits for children 5 years old or younger was requested by the Boston Public Health Commission Community Initiatives Bureau. The information is being used to establish a baseline for an integrated Healthy Homes Program that includes pest management and lead abatement. There is limited experience in using syndromic surveillance data for chronic disease program planning.



The objective of this study is to report on the use of syndromic surveillance data to describe seasonal patterns of asthma and health inequities among Boston residents, age five and under.

Submitted by hparton on