Rising Pollution Is Putting Young Lungs At Risk In The Bronx. Lifestyle Factors Are Also A Big Contributor To Problems Affecting The Respiratory System.

Just by living in New York City, we are at increased risk of respiratory diseases, since traffic emissions can accelerate the aging of our lungs. So, it’s particularly important that we quickly and efficiently diagnose and treat respiratory problems.

Our pulmonologist (lung specialist) offers asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema treatment, and also gives 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 clinic.


Residents in the Bronx are five times more likely to require hospitalization for their asthma compared to the rest of the U.S.

Children are the worst affected by asthma; it has been estimated that 20% of children in some neighborhoods in the Bronx have the condition.

Asthma is also affected by genetics, allergies, cigarette smoke, mold, gas stoves, and high humidity.


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.

The problems, however, can begin earlier in life. Symptoms develop slowly and include breathlessness, chest tightness, fatigue, and chronic coughing.

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.

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. 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.

In 2016, lung cancer took the lives of 594 Bronx residents.

Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer every 2.3 minutes.

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.

Here At Westchester Medical Healthcare

Whether you are looking for a physician to deal with your child’s asthma, or are concerned by your persistent cough or shortness of breath, make sure you seek the advice of a pulmonary doctor. Westchester Medical Healthcare has a pulmonary specialist 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.

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