A recent article concerning the differences in disease states based on bio and ethnic diversity was recently highlighted with a publication from the Hispanic Health Community Study/ Study of Latinos. This particular study was carried out in several major cities in the US that had significant Hispanic populations, and involved the incidence of asthma and COPD. One aspect of the study was the reported increased incidence of asthma in the Puerto Rican populations verses other Hispanic groups. Over 16,400 Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 74 were interviewed.
Asthma was three times more prevalent in Hispanics of Puerto Rican heritage than other Hispanic groups. Also, Hispanics who were born in the mainland USA and those that immigrated at an early age had more asthma than those who immigrated as adults. Interestingly, the amount of COPD seemed to be about the same across all groups and correlated best with smoking history.
What conclusions can be drawn from this data? These findings suggest that exposure to the US environment or lifestyle at a young age may contribute to the incidence of asthma in the American Hispanic community but COPD was related, as it is everywhere, to smoking.
I am not sure what this says about the United States environment and lifestyle. Obviously, something is different here than in Puerto Rico, Mexico and other countries in Central America. The study was done in big cities such as New York, Chicago, Miami and San Diego, leaving one to believe that big city air pollution may be one causative factor.