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New Report Highlights The Burden Of Asthma On Latinos

Aired 10/26/11 on KPBS News.

About 15 percent of San Diego Latinos have asthma; a new report takes a look at some of the contributing factors.

— Latinos in San Diego are disproportionately affected by asthma. A new report from the American Lung Association highlights some of the reasons why.

The report says the social and economic disadvantages Latinos face make them less able to control asthma. For example, a high percentage of Latinos live in poor housing. These dwellings are more likely to be close to freeways and contain mold, both triggers for asthma.

The Association's Luis Lechuga said in addition, a high percentage of Latinos in San Diego are uninsured.

"And so they oftentimes don't get that preventive care that's so essential to treating asthma," Lechuga explained. "So, they will wait for an asthma attack and then show up to the emergency room, which is not the ideal way to keep asthma under control."

The report also revealed Latinos are less likely to be diagnosed with asthma than other ethnic groups.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects more than 22 million people in the U.S., including some six million children.

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