Houston Area Pediatric Specialists

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Houston asthma rates show rural areas suffering the most Does where you live affect how well you breathe?

Houston asthma rates show rural areas suffering the most Does where you live affect how well you breathe?

Data for Houston region find higher asthma hospitalization rate in rural areas
Dana Janczak listens to her 10-year-old son Nathanael's chest after his pulmicort treatment in their rural Cleveland home. Janczak said she and her children suffer from asthma and find access to a doctor difficult. Photo: Mayra Beltran, Chronicle / HC
From Dana Janczak's home in a secluded rural area east of Cleveland, it's a 40-mile ride to the nearest asthma doctor in Kingwood, so she tries to keep trips to a minimum by stocking up on nebulizers: four in her house and two in her car.
Janczak is one of 25 million Americans who suffer from asthma, but what distinguishes her and other rural residents in the Houston region — which has the highest prevalence of asthma in Texas — is that, despite her best efforts, she still has ended up in the hospital three times.
Houston Chronicle analysis of state health records found that rural Cleveland in Liberty County has the highest rate of hospitalization for asthma-related conditions in the 10-county region. In the Houston area overall, nearly 10,000 people were hospitalized between 2007 and 2009 for asthma, according to data provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
 / HC"We had to live in the ER for a while," Janczak recalls of her most serious attack in 2007. "I felt like my airway was closed. I heard my husband's voice was getting farther and farther away."
Liberty County health professionals say several factors contribute to the elevated hospitalization rate, such as a high percentage of smokers and the fact that much of the area is densely covered by woods and their naturally aggravating allergens. But the primary factor, they say, is likely the lack of access to medical care.
"We have few pediatricians in Liberty," said Alexis Cordova, president of the Liberty County Health Awareness Coalition. "We have limited health care, which means people don't take their children to doctors as often so their respiratory problems become more serious."

1 comment:

  1. One of the main reason for asthma is surrounding as it contain much of dust particles when a person breathe these particles directly goes inside the body and then lungs get effected that leads to asthma problem.