The Association Between Cotton and Prevalence of Rural Childhood Asthma

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Abstract of Journal Article -- March 2003  

By Brian J. Kingston, MD, and Michael L. Parchman, MD  

In the United States, asthma now ranks as the most prevalent chronic disease among children. Within rural cotton-producing regions, a popular belief is that cotton production increases the prevalence of asthma. This case-control study was conducted to determine if the prevalence of asthma is higher in children living in rural cotton-producing counties than in children where cotton production is negligible.

No evidence was found to support the belief that cotton production increases the rural childhood prevalence of asthma ( P =.12). More importantly, this study did reveal a significantly higher prevalence of asthma among the fifth graders in rural West Texas than the prevalence predicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( P <.0001).

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