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Survey Finds Asthma Control Poorer in Minority Children

Emergency room visits, hospitalization twice as high for African-American children as Caucasian

THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- African-American and Hispanic children were found to have more poorly controlled asthma than Caucasian children in a four-state sample from a national asthma survey, according to an analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the October issue of Chest.

Deidre Crocker, M.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 1,485 responses from children in the 2003 to 2004 National Asthma Survey sample in the states of Alabama, California, Illinois, and Texas to evaluate symptom management, medication use, and health care utilization among asthmatic Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic children under 18 years of age.

The survey analysis found that 39 percent of African-American children, 24 percent of Hispanic children, and 18 percent of Caucasian children had asthma-related emergency department visits, while 12 percent of African-American children, 4 percent of Hispanic children and 5 percent of Caucasian children had an asthma-related hospitalization. Inhaled corticosteroid use in the past three months was lower in African-American and Hispanic children than Caucasian children (21, 22, and 33 percent, respectively). African-American children and Hispanic children also had higher rate of daily use of short-acting β-agonists, (26, 19, and 12 percent, respectively).

"Sufficient evidence is available, however, to suggest that culturally specific interventions to increase preventive medication use and decrease the use of short-acting β-agonists in minorities should be employed to reduce the disparities in asthma morbidity and mortality in children," the authors write.

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