Latinos Battling Asthma

Many Latinos are literally fighting for air

By Diana Guevara
|  Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 6:30 PM PDT
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Chronic Disease Affecting Latinos

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A new report reveals the burden of a serious chronic disease plaguing Latinos. According to the American Lung Association many Latinos are literally fighting for air.

The report is called "Luchando Por el Aire" which means, fighting for air, in English. This research purposely aims at raising awareness among the growing number of Latinos battling Asthma, especially since the population of Latinos in general continues to grow.

Debbie Kelley with the American Lung Association says so far 15 % of Latinos in San Diego have been diagnosed with the disease.  The report attributes the environment as one factor. But it also says neighborhoods like Logan Heights, National City and City Heights are more at risk because of their proximity to pollutants such as freeway traffic and nearby ports.  Health officials say these factors only aggravate Asthma.

While genetics can play a role, when it comes to Latinos, the report cites social and economic issues as two main factors.

"They tend to have less access to regular medical care, preventive medical care and so when an asthma attacks does happen they often have to go to the emergency room or even be admitted to the hospital,” said Kelley.

To alleviate that problem the American Lung Association is raising awareness about the resources that are available.  They also offer help in Spanish for those who may need it. For more information you can call 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit www.lungusa.org.

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