OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this work was to estimate asthma prevalence among US children in racial minority subgroups who have been historically underrepresented in the pediatric asthma literature. These subgroups include American Indian/Alaska Native, Chinese, Filipino, and Asian Indian children. We also explored the association between these race categories and asthma after adjusting for demographic and sociodemographic characteristics and explored the effect of place of birth as it relates to current asthma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. Data on all 51944 children aged 2 to 17 years from the 2001–2005 National Health Interview Survey were aggregated and analyzed to estimate the prevalence of current asthma, lifetime asthma, and asthma attacks according to race and place of birth. Logistic regression was used to determine adjusted odds ratios for current asthma according to race and place of birth while controlling for other demographic and sociodemographic variables.

RESULTS. National estimates of current asthma prevalence among the children in the selected minority subgroups ranged from 4.4% in Asian Indian children to 13.0% in American Indian/Alaska Native children. Overall, children born in the United States had greater adjusted odds of reporting current asthma than did children born outside of the United States.

CONCLUSIONS. Smaller racial and ethnic minority groups are often excluded from asthma studies. This study reveals that, among children from different Asian American subgroups, wide variation may occur in asthma prevalence. We also found that children born in the United States were more likely than children born outside of the United States to have current asthma.

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