Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Anna Hoover

Committee Member

Dr. Jay Christian

Committee Member

Dr. Rachel Hogg-Graham


Objective: Given the frequency and intensity of flooding, along with the disparities in respiratory illnesses in Kentucky, this study aims to determine if there is an association between flooding and asthma is crucial to the health of the state population.

Methods: Preventable asthma hospitalizations in adults aged 18-39 were obtained from the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services, Health and Facility Services Data and included the count of admissions of an ICD-9 diagnosis of asthma, as determined by hospital discharge data. FEMA disaster declarations were used to identify 69 counties that had floods during the period of 2008-2015. A spatial-temporal scan to identify local clusters of preventable asthma hospitalizations was completed using SaTScan 10.1.

Results: Three clusters were identified in Eastern Kentucky, Monroe County, and Jefferson County. These clusters did not align with a specific flooding event. However, the Monroe County cluster occurred directly following two F3 tornadoes, and the Jefferson County cluster aligns with a period of ozone exceedances, giving way to potential future research.

Conclusion: To examine the association between flooding and asthma, better records and measurements are needed to categorize flooding events in Kentucky. Ozone exceedances and other natural disasters could also have an association with increased preventable asthma hospitalizations.

Available for download on Saturday, April 27, 2024

Included in

Public Health Commons