Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Adult Asthma: The Use of Novel Public Health Methods to Investigate the Prevalence of Environmental Risk Factors

Ramos, Rosemarie Govea (2006) Adult Asthma: The Use of Novel Public Health Methods to Investigate the Prevalence of Environmental Risk Factors. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (632kB) | Preview


Although the incidence of new cases of asthma has decreased in recent years, the prevalence of asthma morbidity continues to be a significant clinical and public health issue. The measures of morbidity include the need for urgent medical care and high-dose asthma medications due to uncontrolled asthma symptoms. However, the risk factors for uncontrolled asthma symptoms are poorly defined, especially for the adult asthmatic. Much interest in the host-environment interaction has evolved in response to the greater morbidity observed in adult asthmatics. Thus, the need to identify risk factors is greater than ever. An underlying problem is that surveillance for asthma does not exist at the local or state level. Here we address the concept of environmental health surveillance by demonstrating the utility of local asthma hospitalization data to estimate the burden of asthma morbidity in hopes of identifying environmental risk factors. We examine this burden within 2 geographic settings: 1. a selected urban-rural setting in Pennsylvania and 2. within the 89 zip codes in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. We also demonstrate that such hospitalization records are a rich source for data needed to generate hypotheses with respect to the prevalence of environmental risk factors and chronic disease morbidity. Lastly, we demonstrate the use of a non-invasive biomarker (i.e. antibodies specific for atypical respiratory pathogens) to assess the risk of exposure to a biological environmental agent to adult asthma morbidity. Given the poor understanding of risk factors for adult asthma prevalence and morbidity, this research is both relevant and important in addressing environmental public health disparities.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ramos, Rosemarie
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKarol, Meryl Hmhk@pitt.eduMHK
Committee MemberYouk, Ada Oayouk@pitt.eduAYOUK
Committee MemberPitt, Bruce Rbrucep@pitt.eduBRUCEP
Committee MemberTalbott, Evelyn Oeot1@pitt.eduEOT1
Date: 3 February 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 23 September 2005
Approval Date: 3 February 2006
Submission Date: 2 December 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult asthma; disease severity; environment; epidemiology; risk factors
Other ID:, etd-12022005-113551
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:07
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item