A recent study led by researcher Tristen Hall at the University of Colorado in Aurora analyzed how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and race/ethnicity influence adult asthma prevalence. Hall’s work elucidates the effect ACEs have on asthma prevalence, particularly for women and racial/ethnic minorities who experience asthma disparities and ACEs at disproportionate levels.
The study was composed of 114,015 female and male participants, ages 18 and older. Study racial/ethnic demographics included Asian Americans, Non-Hispanic white Americans, Black/African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN), Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and multiracial Americans.
Data was obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2009 – 2012. Statistical analysis to examine the relationship between ACEs, race/ethnicity and adult asthma was adjusted for covariates such as sex, age, education, income, smoking history and geographic region.
The study ultimately found that the association between ACEs and asthma was significant, particularly for women (p < 0.001) and multiracial Americans (p < 0.001), AIAN (p = 0.001), Black/African Americans (p = 0.004), and Non-Hispanic white Americans (p = 0.008). Each additional ACE was associated with 1.12 times greater odds of having asthma (OR: 1.12; CI: 1.10 to 1.13; p < 0.001).
The study concluded that ACEs have a significant effect on adult asthma prevalence. A call to action was made advocating for the prevention and early detection of ACEs. Such an intervention might help to reduce the rising prevalence of childhood and adult asthma and decrease long-term health disparities in America, particularly for women and racial/ethnic minorities.
Hall, T., Rooks, R., & Kaufman, C. (2020). Intersections of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Race and Ethnicity and Asthma Outcomes: Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(21), 8236. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218236