Among American school-aged children, there is a wide variation in asthma outcomes. This study, published in the Journal of Asthma, aimed to provide a national descriptive profile of asthma outcomes among school-aged children (ages 6 – 17). The researchers looked at both asthma control and treatment patterns.
The data for this cross-sectional survey came from the 2007-2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which is nationally representative of the population. Several indicators of poor asthma control were identified, including asthma exacerbations or attacks, increased short-acting beta-agonist usage, and asthma-related emergency department or inpatient visits.
Several racial and socioeconomic factors were identified as correlating with higher odds of having asthma. These factors included being Puerto Rican, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic multi-racial, poor, on Medicaid, obese, not having medical insurance, and having a parent without a high school diploma. Additional factors included having a personal or family history of two or more non-asthma chronic comorbidities.
Multiple racial/ethnic groups were found to have significantly higher odds of excessive short-acting beta-agonist use compared to non-Hispanic whites. These groups included Hispanic Americans of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central American, and South American heritage. They also included non-Hispanic Black Americans and non-Hispanic Asian Americans.
The researchers concluded that there are racial and socioeconomic disparities in asthma control and prevalence. These data can be used to support solutions that may be beneficial to these populations .
Source: Sullivan, P. W., Ghushchyan, V., Navaratnam, P., Friedman, H. S., Kavati, A., Ortiz, B., & Lanier, B. (2019). Exploring factors associated with health disparities in asthma and poorly controlled asthma among school-aged children in the U.S. Journal of Asthma, 57(3), 271–285. https://doi.org/10.1080/02770903.2019.1571080