Building Healthy Foundations: City-wide Mapping of Childhood Asthma Rates for Early Identification of Dangerous Housing

Can predictive modeling identify dangerous housing that puts low-income children at greater risk for asthma disparities?

The tremendous inequality of housing for children from low-income communities of color is a primary driver of asthma disparities. These children disproportionately live in dilapidated housing that is strongly associated with higher prevalence of asthma triggers. There is a need to proactively identify dangerous housing that can be targeted for remediation, since repairing such conditions can substantially improve asthma outcomes. With this award, Haber aims to evaluate whether and how accurately geospatial analysis of emergency department visits for childhood asthma in New Haven can identify specific buildings contributing to disease burden. Haber will validate this approach using data from Boston and Austin and assess its sensitivity for detecting dangerous housing. Elizabeth Matsui, Professor of Population Health and Pediatrics at the University of Texas at Austin, will provide mentorship on pediatric asthma and how emergency department visit data are generated. S. V. Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography at Harvard, will provide mentorship on statistical frameworks to model the causes of childhood asthma disparities.

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