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Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Symptom Severity Among Children Hospitalized with Asthma
Abstract

Asthma is the most common chronic illness among U.S. children as well as a leading cause of hospitalization and functional disability. This cross-sectional study uses 2001 hospitalization data for Pennsylvania to examine disparities among Black, Hispanic, and White children in asthma symptomatology at the time of admission. Compared with Whites, Black children were over twice as likely to have the most severe asthma symptoms, taking into account age, sex, insurance status, income, and rural/urban residence. Increased likelihood of severe clinical condition at admission was also independently associated with Medicaid coverage, with older age at admission, and with urban residence. The relationship between symptom severity at presentation in the emergency department and access to and utilization of appropriate ambulatory care services for children with asthma warrants further investigation.



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