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QuickStats: Percentage of Children Aged <18 Years Who Currently Have Asthma,* by Race/Ethnicity and Poverty Status,§ National Health Interview Survey --- United States, 2003--2005

* Determined by positive responses to the following two questions: "Has a physician or other health professional ever told you that your child has asthma?" and "Does your child still have asthma?" Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population.

Data are shown for two Hispanic subpopulations (Puerto Rican and Mexican American) because these groups have adequate sample sizes to provide stable estimates. Estimates for other Hispanic subpopulations are not reliable.

§ Poor is defined as annual household income <100% of the poverty threshold, near poor as 100%--199%, and nonpoor as >200%, based on U.S. Bureau of the Census thresholds. For example, in 2004, for a family of four (two adults and two children aged <18 years), the poverty threshold was $19,157, and poverty status levels were as follows: poor: <$19,157; near poor: $19,157--$38,314; nonpoor: >$38,315.

95% confidence interval.

During 2003--2005, Puerto Rican children overall had a higher prevalence of asthma than Mexican-American, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black children. Differences in poverty status did not explain the disparities for Puerto Rican and non-Hispanic black children, two populations that had higher asthma rates than non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American children regardless of poverty status. The reason for the higher rate among Puerto Rican children overall is unknown.

SOURCES: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 2003--2005; Health data for all ages. Available at

Lara M, Akinbami L, Flores G, Morgenstern H. Heterogeneity of childhood asthma among Hispanic children: Puerto Rican children bear a disproportionate burden. Pediatrics 2006;117:43--53.

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Date last reviewed: 2/7/2007




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