By Tristen Hall, Ronica Rooks, and Carol Kaufman, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, November 7, 2020
Racial and ethnic minority subpopulations experience a disproportionate burden of asthma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These disparities result from systematic differences in risk exposure, opportunity access, and return on resources, but we know little about how accumulated differentials in ACEs may be associated with adult asthma by racial/ethnic groups. We used Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data (N = 114,015) from 2009 through 2012 and logistic regression to examine the relationship between ACEs and adult asthma using an intersectional lens, investigating potential differences for women and men aged 18 and older across seven racial/ethnic groups. ACEs were significantly related to asthma, adjusting for race/ethnicity and other covariates. Compared to the reference group (Asians), asthma risk was significantly greater for Black/African American, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN), White, and multiracial respondents. In sex-stratified interactional models, ACEs were significantly related to asthma among women. The relationship between ACEs and asthma was significantly weaker for Black/African American and AIAN women compared to the reference group (Asian women). The findings merit attention for the prevention and early detection of ACEs to mitigate long-term health disparities, supporting standardized screening and referrals in clinical settings, evidence-based prevention in communities, and the exploration of strategies to buffer the influence of adversities in health.