Childhood asthma resolution of environmental symptoms (CARES) during general summer camp attendance: a pilot study
Griffin, Caitlin McKenna
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BACKGROUND: The CDC estimates that asthma affects over 7 million American children. Children that live in urban settings bear more of the asthma burden in regards to morbidity and mortality than their suburban and rural counterparts. Theories as to the cause of this disparity are varied and complex. There is consensus that some interaction of home and outdoor exposures coupled with a genetic predisposition to make urban children more at risk for suffering asthma symptoms. Objective: The CARES (Childhood Asthma Resolution of Environmental Symptoms) pilot study seeks to investigate the role home environment play in urban childhood asthma by measuring asthma symptoms before and after a 2 week stay at a residential summer camp in the suburban Duxbury, MA. METHODS: Asthma Control Tests^TM were administered to campers at the start and end of their 2 week stay at camp. These results were correlated with demographic information that parents supplied during enrollment. ACT score improvements were tested for significance against particular polled home exposures or demographics. RESULTS: 53 campers enrolled in the pilot study with 96% completing induction and follow-up. While both age groups saw a general increase of ACT scores during their stay at camp (p=.009 and p=.006), there was no significant difference of ACT score increase between groups that had a particular exposure (e.g. smoker in the home) and those that did not (p=.275 and p=.945). Conclusion: While we cannot attribute the general asthma improvement seen in Participants to a particular exposure or demographic status, this pilot study highlighted important ideas for future investigations with more statistical power that may give us better answers to the cause of increased urban asthma burden among children.