The prevalence of asthma is high in Salt Lake County, Utah; 9.5% of adults aged 18 years or older (1) and 6.7% of children and adolescents aged 0 to 17 years have asthma (2). On average, 1,800 adults and 1,200 children visit an emergency department (ED) (3) and 400 adults and 400 children are hospitalized (4) with a primary diagnosis of asthma each year.
In 2015, the Utah Asthma Program and partners from the Utah Asthma Task Force developed the Utah Asthma Home Visiting Program (UAHVP). This program serves families with uncontrolled asthma and is only available in Salt Lake and Utah counties (5). The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) collaborated with the Utah Asthma Program to explore using recent and up-to-date housing complaint data to more efficiently target the UAHVP. Currently, the UAHVP is targeted in areas by using ED data, which have a reporting lag time of several years. In comparison, housing complaint data are collected in real time and readily accessible from the SLCoHD Environmental Health Division.
The goals of this project were to retrospectively identify asthma-related housing complaints, geocode these complaints, assess their relationship to the rate of asthma ED encounters, and analyze emerging hot spots to determine whether these data and methods could identify communities that may benefit from the UAHVP.