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Pulmonology

Rising pollution is putting young lungs at risk in the Bronx.1 Lifestyle factors are also a big contributor to problems affecting the respiratory system.2

Our main clinic is located just on the border of Mott Haven, the Bronx, a district nicknamed “Asthma Alley” for its high levels of air pollution.3 As a result, our pulmonary doctors here at BronxDocs are on the front line dealing with pollution-related respiratory diseases.

Just by living where we do, we are at increased risk of respiratory diseases, since traffic emissions can accelerate the aging of our lungs.4 So, it's particularly important that we quickly and efficiently diagnose and treat respiratory problems. Our pulmonologists (lung specialists) offer asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema treatment, and also give up-to-date advice on how we can best protect ourselves and our children, as well as mitigate the risks, through our lifestyle choices.

We want to share with you some facts and statistics around different lung conditions. By knowing the risks, causes, and symptoms, you will be better positioned to help protect you and your family from the worst effects of some of the common diseases we encounter at our Bronx clinics.

Asthma

  • Residents in the South Bronx are five times more likely to require hospitalization for their asthma compared to the rest of the U.S.5
  • Children are the worst affected by asthma; it has been estimated that 20% of children in some neighborhoods in the Bronx have the condition.6
  • Asthma is also affected by genetics, allergies, cigarette smoke, mold, gas stoves, and high humidity.7

COPD

  • Bronchitis and emphysema are types of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs).
  • They mostly affect adults: 75% of patients diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and 90% of patients with emphysema are over the age of 45.8
  • The problems, however, can begin earlier in life. Symptoms develop slowly and include breathlessness, chest tightness, fatigue, and chronic coughing.9
  • Common causes include cigarette smoke (both first and second hand), long-term exposure to workplace pollutants (such as dust and chemical fumes), and even smoke from cooking oils.10

Lung cancer

  • Lung cancer shares a lot of the same symptoms as COPD; so, it's important to present your symptoms as soon as possible to a lung specialist.11 The Bronx is home to pulmonary doctors who can get you an accurate diagnosis.
  • In the U.S., 1 in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.12
  • In 2016, lung cancer took the lives of 594 Bronx residents.13
  • Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer every 2.3 minutes.14
  • Prompt diagnosis is essential. While fewer than 20% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer survive more than 5 years, if it is caught before it spreads, chances of surviving past 5 years increase significantly.15

Here at BronxDocs

Whether you are looking for a physician to deal with your kid's asthma, or are concerned by your persistent cough or shortness of breath, make sure you seek the advice of a pulmonary doctor. BronxDocs has pulmonary specialists on hand to listen to your concerns.

You shouldn't have to fight to breathe. If you're wheezy or find that you are regularly short of breath after minimal exertion, there's no use in ignoring it. Visit a clinic that can refer you to dedicated lung doctors who will take your symptoms seriously and help to rule out life-threatening COPD or lung cancer. Lung conditions share some of the same symptoms as heart conditions, so be prepared that you may be referred to a cardiologist. For more information, visit our cardiology page under our list of services.

Citations

1. Klein, Jeffrey D. “Asthma Prevention and Management in Bronx, New York and New York State at Large” Monroe College Website (2011) Retrieved from: https://www.monroecollege.edu/uploadedFiles/_Site_Assets/PDF/Asthma%20prevention_Final.pdf Oct. 2019

2. CDC: “Asthma: Risk Factors” (2016) Retrieved from:
https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/asthma_disparities/risk_factors.htm Oct. 2019.

3. Kilani, Hazar. “'Asthma Alley': why minorities bear burden of pollution inequity caused by white people” Guardian.com (Apr. 4. 2019) Retrieved from:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/04/new-york-south-bronx-minorities-pollution-inequity Oct. 2019.

4. Doiron, Dany; Kees de Hoogh et al. “Air pollution, lung function and COPD: results from the population-based UK Biobank study” European Respiratory Journal Jan 2019, 1802140; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.02140-2018

5. Klein, Jeffrey D. (2019) p2

6. Klein, Jeffrey D. (2019) p3

7. CDC: “Asthma: Risk Factors” (2016)

8. CDC: “Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey” (2016) Table A-2a.  Retrieved from: https://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/NHIS/SHS/2016_SHS_Table_A-2.pdf Oct. 2019

9. NIH: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “Health Topics: COPD” (Mar. 2018) Retrieved from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/copd Oct. 2019.

10. NIH: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (Mar. 2018)

11.  Eldridge, Lynne MD. ”COPD and the Risk, Symptoms, and Treatment of Lung Cancer” (2019) Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/copd-and-lung-cancer-risk-recognition-and-treatment-4120828 Oct. 2019.

12. Howlader N, Noone AM, et al. “SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016”. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016. Apr. 2019.

13. New York State Department of Health. “Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Year, Bronx County, 1976-2016” Retrieved from:
https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/cancer/registry/table2/tb2lungbronx.htm Oct. 2019

14. Howlader N, Noone AM, et al. Apr. 2019

15. Howlader N, Noone AM, et al. Apr. 2019