Asthma Rates High among Poor Children

Asthma Rates High among Poor Children

When seen from one side, it seems great to know that asthma prevalence has declined among children from developing countries. But on the other hand, there seem to have increasing trend in children from poor families. A retrospective analysis of National Health Interview Survey data from 2001-2013 has found huge increase in childhood asthma rates from 2001 to 2009 with 10% increase in 2009. The rate slightly leveled off by about 8% in 2013. But, the good thing to note is that researchers found that trends in childhood asthma have slightly stopped increasing.

Dr. Lara Akinbami, who's with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, along with colleagues, used adjusted multivariate models during the research. They found significant increase in liner trend in asthma prevalence in the middle of the time period, for poor children and children aged 10-17. The prevalence of asthma remained the same among white and Puerto Rican children from 2001 to 2013. Dr. Lara said that the drop in asthma cases in children is due to the leveling off of prevalence among black children. Researchers even found adverse asthma outcomes among younger children like emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

The findings could have two major implications: the first is the drop in the asthma rates will cause fewer children to be at risk for poor asthma outcomes. Secondly, the racial disparity in asthma rates has stopped increasing among white and black children. Researchers wrote “There is general consensus that no single explanation is likely to suffice and that the story of changing asthma prevalence is one of interplay between complex factors”. In 2001, about 30% increase in asthma rate was reported among black children than white children. But by 2011, it was over 100% higher. Dr. Jeffrey Biehler, chair of pediatrics at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, said, there is nothing surprising in knowing the fact that asthma rates have leveled off among poor children.

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