Multiple risk factors can be modified to decrease asthma incidence. It is important to understand early risks to decrease exposure to harmful conditions in the environment that can trigger asthma which may not be clinically evident in children until they reach adulthood. A retrospective literature review of articles on the prevalence of asthma in the urban versus rural environment was initiated in order to understand the effect of the environment on asthma. The urban-living effect is a global problem in the face of growing population, industrialization and pollution. The socioeconomic dichotomy in the urban versus rural environment also affects access and quality of health care.
Articles reviewed had differences in the urban versus rural prevalence of asthma. However, further analysis of specific risk factors and socioeconomic trends that increased susceptibility to asthma was the same in these studies. Some rural areas may have similar environmental and socioeconomic issues that place them at the same risk for the development of asthma as their urban counterparts.
Urban locations generally tend to have the prototype environment that can lead to the predisposition of asthma. Ultimately, the incidence of asthma can be decreased if these environmental and socioeconomic issues are addressed. However, every effort is needed from the level of the individual to the community at large.
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