Clustering of Asthma Prevalence
Around Industrial Complexes
in Southcentral Detroit and
Dearborn by G.I.S. Method.
1993 to 1998, there were 9000 reported cases of asthma from inpatient and
outpatient records at Oakwood Hospital. 8300 of those reported cases
matched local addresses in the area served by Oakwood Hospital. Data
on racial characteristics, population density, and income levels is obtained
from neighborhood blocks of the 1990 census report. Locations of
major industries in the area are obtained from the Toxics Release Inventory.
A geographic information system (G.I.S.) is used to plot where the patients
live, so as to identify any clustering of asthma prevalence in the areas
served by the hospital. The asthma cases per block group are normalized
to account for differences in background population between block groups.
Readily identifiable clusters of asthma are found close to the industrial
installations in Dearborn, especially north, northwest, and southwest of
the industries. Several of the block groups surrounding the industrial
installations demonstrate a five-year asthma prevalence between 3 and 9
%. Some spatial correlation is witnessed between asthma prevalence
and median value of a home in a block group. Little spatial correlation
is demonstrated between asthma prevalence and density of African Americans,
Hispanics, Asian Americans, or Native Americans. Dearborn in known
to have a large proportion of Arab Americans. 1990 Census Data does
not provide specific density information about Arab Americans. The
relationship between asthma prevalence and density of Arab Americans still
remains to be studied.
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