Richmond Environment and Asthma Community Health (REACH) Study

Asthma, stress, and the environment are strongly linked. The timing (e.g. in utero vs. late adulthood), the cumulative exposure, and the potential interaction of said exposures are important considerations when determining which individuals are at greatest risk of developing disease. Yet, what types of stress and environments cause asthma and make the disease worse is unique to each community. In the SF Bay Area, predominantly African American and Latinx communities have much higher rates of asthma. The prevalence of asthma in California is approximately 13%, in Richmond, CA, it approaches 25%. In addition, asthma attack rates are almost double the state rate.

The overall goal of this study is to determine the combined role of intrinsic factors (e.g., sex and genetics) and extrinsic factors (e.g. psychosocial stress and environmental chemical exposures in the form of air pollution) on asthma incidence in adolescents. 

To attempt to understand the multiple levels of influence, partners from LifeLong Medical, UC Berkeley, and UCSF have partnered to implement the Richmond Environment and Asthma Community Health (REACH) Study. To date, we have enrolled 75 families of children 8-16 years old, with and without asthma. We have collected rich clinical, demographic, physiologic (including spirometry testing), and biological measures from the children and their caregiver(s). Families have also been asked about their own social stressors, including unmet social needs, financial strain, discriminatory experiences related to race/ethnicity, and acculturative stress in our Latinx population.