Children's Hospital Colorado
Advances and Answers in Pediatric Health
U.S. News & World Report ranked in all 10 specialties badge

Advancing child health and pediatric specialty care through clinical discovery, multidisciplinary research and innovation

Best in Pediatrics for Asthma Care


Young boy uses an albuterol inhaler

Emily Skeen, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist from Children's Hospital Colorado, presented her groundbreaking research at the 2023 American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in Washington, D.C. Dr. Skeen’s abstract, "Neighborhood-Level Child Opportunity Predicts Exacerbation-Prone Status in a Cohort of Urban Children With Asthma," not only highlights the impact of social determinants of health on children but also earned the prestigious recognition of “Best in Pediatrics” by the ATS.

Collaborating with colleagues Andrew Liu, MD, and Kate Hamlington Smith, PhD, Dr. Skeen utilized the Child Opportunity Index 2.0 (COI) to analyze the role of neighborhood conditions in asthma exacerbations among children in urban settings. The study demonstrated that a decrease in neighborhood-level opportunities as measured by COI, such as access to healthy food or quality education, significantly increases the likelihood of children becoming prone to asthma exacerbations. This finding was more predictive than traditional, individual-level socioeconomic indicators, such as household income and parental education.

Dr. Skeen's work shines a light on the critical need for targeted community interventions to alleviate the disproportionate burden of asthma on children in lower-opportunity neighborhoods. The research paves the way for a more holistic approach to pediatric asthma care, emphasizing the importance of addressing environmental and social factors alongside clinical care.