JOURNAL ARTICLE

Asthma prevalence among Hispanic adults in Puerto Rico and Hispanic adults of Puerto Rican descent in the United States - results from two national surveys

Suad El Burai Félix, Cathy M Bailey, Hatice S Zahran
Journal of Asthma 2015, 52 (1): 3-9
25137343

UNLABELLED: Abstract Objective: To assess whether asthma prevalence differs between Hispanic adults living in Puerto Rico and Hispanic adults of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States.

METHODS: We used 2008-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, administered in Puerto Rico for Hispanic adults living in Puerto Rico (Hispanics in Puerto Rico), and 2008-2010 National Health Interview Survey data for Hispanic adults of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States (Puerto Rican Americans). We used 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare asthma prevalence between corresponding subgroups; non-overlapping CIs indicate statistical significance. Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression were used to assess the association between current asthma status and socio-demographic factors and health risk behaviors within each Puerto Rican population.

RESULTS: Current asthma prevalence among Hispanics in Puerto Rico (7.0% [6.4%-7.7%]) was significantly lower than the prevalence among Puerto Rican Americans (15.6% [13.0%-18.1%]). The prevalence among almost all socio-demographic and health risk subgroups of Hispanics in Puerto Rico was significantly lower than the prevalence among the corresponding subgroups of Puerto Rican Americans. Adjusting for potential confounders did not alter the results. Asthma prevalence was significantly associated with obesity among Puerto Rican Americans (adjusted prevalence ratios [aPR]=1.5 [1.1-2.0]), and among Hispanics in Puerto Rico was associated with obesity (aPR=1.6 [1.3-1.9]), smoking (aPR=1.4 [1.1-1.9]) and being female (aPR=1.9 [1.5-2.4]).

CONCLUSION: Asthma was more prevalent among Puerto Rican Americans than Hispanics in Puerto Rico. Although the observed associations did not explain all variations in asthma prevalence between these two populations, they may lay the foundation for future research.

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