Communities and Health: The Case of Inner-City Violence and Asthma

Communities and Health: The Case of Inner-City Violence and Asthma

Andrea J. Apter

The social forces that affect individual health are powerful and yet poorly understood. For example, the health burden of asthma is especially large for residents of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods. At the same time, many inner-city residents face health challenges associated with high levels of violence in their communities. Recent work has linked exposure to community violence with worsening asthma symptoms in children, but the link has not been studied in adults. This Issue Brief summarizes a new study that tracks adults with moderate to severe asthma and explores the association between exposure to community violence and subsequent asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations.