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Health

New report finds Detroiters are far more likely to have asthma than the rest of Michigan

Fear of having to go to the ER during a pandemic might have led kids with asthma to be more careful about regularly using their "controller" inhalers, researchers suspect. But that's likely only one factor in the decline in ER visits.
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Fear of having to go to the ER during a pandemic might have led kids with asthma to be more careful about regularly using their "controller" inhalers, researchers suspect. But that's likely only one factor in the decline in ER visits.

Detroiters are far more likely to have asthma than the rest of Michigan, according to a new report.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Service has released an updated report with information about asthma in Detroit and the rest of the state.

The report built on previously published data from 2016 and found that the disparities in asthma rates in Michigan have only grown over the past few years.

The rate of asthma among adults in Detroit is 46% higher than the rest of the state, the report said.

It also found that the prevalence of asthma among children in Detroit was almost 15%, compared to 8% in the rest of the state.

Kathleen Slonager is executive director Michigan chapter of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

She says that poor air quality and lack of education about the triggers of asthma are among the reasons for the disparities.

"When people get the right medicine, when they are taught and learn how to take it the right way," Slonager said. "When they remove their triggers or at least reduce them... Lo and behold, they're not getting admitted to the hospital. That's the other sad and frustrating thing."

She says that many Detroiters do not have easy access to treatment and asthma specialists.

"Out here in the suburbs in southeast Michigan, there’s a plethora of specialists, on every corner. But in Detroit, people don’t have access to that quality kind of health care that they get from a specialist," Slonager said.

The report analyzed health and hospital data and found that Detroit had more asthma hospitalizations.

Slonager is calling for systemic change that focuses on appropriate medications, educating individuals and frequent follow-up from doctors.