* The spatial distributions of asthma cases in relation to major traffic corridors and the Peace Bridge Complex in Buffalo, New York, were assessed.
* Possible contributions of other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)-identified pollution sources also were considered.
* A statistically significant association was found between proximity to source and diagnosed asthma.
* Two-thirds of the asthma sufferers resided between 204 and 700 meters from pollution sources.
* One-third of the cases occurred in people who resided within 1 kilometer of major roadways.
* Over 40 percent who utilized health care for asthma lived within walking distance of the health care facility they patronized.
* Indices of lower socioeconomic status also were associated with increased asthma rates at zip code level.
* Nevertheless, the strongest association was with increase in commercial traffic.
* An increased prevalence of asthma on Buffalo's west side was not explained by the following:
-- socioeconomic status,
-- median household income,
-- education level,
-- smoking status,
-- presence of household triggers such as pets, or
* Identification of asthma clusters associated with different sources may provide insight into how mixtures of pollutants may interact and lead to development of asthma in susceptible individuals.
* The geographic distribution of asthma clusters near focus sites and busy roadways suggests that pollutants not only may be associated with worsening of symptoms but also may play a role in the etiology of asthma.
* Dispersion results from this study do not match most...