Unchanged asthma prevalence during 1990-1999 in rural Alaska Natives.

Patricia Martinez, Barry D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of asthma has been increasing throughout the world, but the reasons for the increase are unclear. Some have hypothesized that the increase is due to industrial and agricultural pollutants in urban and rural areas, respectively. The objective of this research was to determine if the prevalence of asthma has increased in a remote area of Alaska where the population lives a subsistence lifestyle and is not exposed to such pollution. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review of medical records to determine the prevalence of asthma. METHODS: We reviewed medical records of 1200 children, aged 0-10 years, who lived in the Yukon-Kuskokwum Delta (YKD) region of western Alaska between 1990 and 1999. The entire YKD population receives health care from a single medical system, so records provide a complete picture of each patient's health care. Data collected from the medical records included demographics, and the presence or absence of a diagnosis of asthma or reactive airway disease (RAD). RESULTS: Over the 10-year period from 1990-1999, there was no significant change in the percentage of children who had a diagnosis of asthma (2.0% in 1990 and 3% in 1999), or RAD (9.6% in 1990 and 9.6% in 1999). CONCLUSIONS: In a population of children not exposed to urban industrial, or rural agricultural pollutants, there was no change in the prevalence of wheezing or asthma between 1990 and 1999.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of circumpolar health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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