Essential Pittsburgh
5:02 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Allegheny Health Network Study Aims to Get a Clearer Picture of Asthma Rates

Reports indicate that the need for inhalers in Pittsburgh schools has increased over the past decade.
Credit @aerial_m / Flickr

Studies show the rate of childhood asthma in Allegheny County is around 13 percent, higher than the national rate of 9 percent.

An Allegheny General Hospital study is underway to more precisely determine childhood asthma rates in the region and exactly what triggers the respiratory disease.

Dr. David Skoner, Division Director in asthma, allergies and immunology for the Allegheny Health Network, is a co-director for the study.

“We get reports at times from school systems that 50% of the children either have an inhaler at school or their parents send a form back at the beginning of the year saying that their child has asthma. 50%, that's a very high number. We’re not sure if its real. And that’s what the purpose of the grant is, to find out what the true prevalence is and to find out what the level of control is. But, you know, there is a chance that it is real, and if it is, it could be related to the climatic conditions here or the pollution levels here or allergen levels here. It may be different here then other parts of the country and that’s what we’re trying to find out."