Archive for December, 2015

Childhood Asthma Rates Level Off, But Racial Disparities Remain

There’s finally some good news about childhood asthma in the United States: After rising for decades, the number of children with the breathing disorder has finally stopped increasing and may have started falling, according to a government analysis.

“That was a big surprise,” says Lara Akinbami of the National Center for Health Statistics. “We were expecting the increase to kind of continue. But in fact we saw the opposite.”

The percentage of U.S. children with asthma doubled in the 1980s and 1990s and had been increasing steadily since then. The reason for the increase has remained mysterious, but there may be many possible factors, including exposure to secondhand smoke, obesity and children’s immune systems failing to develop properly.

Akinbami and her colleagues detected the first change in that trend when they analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey between 2001 and 2013.

Among children ages 17 and younger, the prevalence of asthma peaked at 9.7 percent in 2011 and then plateaued until 2013, when it declined to 8.3 percent, the researchers report Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

But asthma prevalence continues to rise among children in the poorest families and remains far more common among African-American children than white children. More than 14 percent of black children have asthma, compared with about 8 percent of white children. Black children are also much more likely than white children to suffer severe complications.

And it’s not clear “whether 2013 represents just one of the fluctuations in that leveling or whether that’s going to show us the beginning of a decreasing trend,” Akinbami says.

The reason for the shift remains as mysterious as the rise. One possibility is that the proportion of children who are genetically susceptible to asthma may have peaked, Akinbami says.

Regardless of the cause, other experts are welcoming the trend.

“It is good news for kids,” says Stephen Teach, chairman of pediatrics at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. In addition to deaths and hospitalizations, asthma attacks cause children to miss school and their parents to miss work.

“It’s an economic and health care drag on our system and our potential for children to develop,” Teach says.

Teach and others say we still have a long way to go.

“Roughly 1 in 9 children have asthma. That’s a pretty profound burden of a health condition in a population that really should be very, very healthy overall,” says Elizabeth Matsui, a professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. “So there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

That includes addressing the persistent racial and economic inequities. “There are stark and dramatic disparities in the prevalence of the disease,” Teach says.

Source: NPR – Rob Stein

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2015-12-15 02.14.17

FESP Celebrates the Holidays

On December 15th, our Family and Employment Services Program (FESP) held their annual holiday party. Thirty of our patients were in attendance, to enjoy food, music and activities.
Clients divided into two teams, playing “Name That Tune.” They also participated in an art therapy project, where they identified their greatest accomplishments for 2015 and goals for 2016 which now decorate the halls of our clinic.

Take a look at these great photos from the party!



On Thursday December 3rd, CCHP had its first ever We B-E-E Spelling event…and boy was it fun!

This special holiday edition of We B-E-E Spelling, hosted by Alex Greer, brought our contestants back to the days of middle school. Staff and supporters of CCHP gathered at the Wild Horse Tavern for a memorable night of laughs, music and some good old fashion spelling. Comedians, Kyle Ayers and Will Miles, not only kicked off the evening’s festivities, but were also our “official” judges, while DJ Will Winner provided the tunes for our participants to dance their way to the stage.

Our contestants included a future professional arm wrestler, DMX’s number one fan, scuba divers, a CCHP board member, our very own CEO – Annie Mendelsohn, a few individuals looking to redeem themselves from Spelling Bee losses from their youth, and many more. Their were sabotages, arm-wrestling, blind-folded singing competitions, and celebrity impersonations. Our big winner, CCHP’s Rachel Heyman, was out after the first round, but thanks to an unforgettable performance of the Lion King’s “Hakuna Matta” sang her way back in to take home the trophy!

Not only was this night entertaining, but with close to 100 people, we were able to raise money to provide essential family-focused health care to over 500 under-served families in the East Harlem community.

Don’t worry if you missed out, We B-E-E Spelling will be back this Spring…

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