Penn study links exposure to violence with asthma hospitalizations

People who witness acts of violence are hospitalized and go to the ER for asthma more than twice as often as similarly situated asthmatics who do not see violent acts, according to a study by researchers form the University of Pennsylvania.

The Penn researchers followed 397 adults from Philadelphia with moderate to severe asthma for six months and found that those who had seen fights with weapons, a gang fight, a sexual assault, robbery, mugging or other community violence also had lower “asthma-related” quality of life.

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Andrea J. Apter

“Our findings suggest that exposure to violence is associated with far reaching health effects beyond the single condition of asthma,” said Andrea J. Apter, a professor of medicine at Penn and the lead author of the study slated to appear in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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