We evaluated the relation between socioeconomic factors and hospitalization as well as emergency department (ED) visits among asthmatic children who had universal access to health care. Newly diagnosed asthmatic children 3-4 years of age were followed up for a period of 6 years. Information on hospitalization and ED visits was obtained by interviewing parents. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured by paternal occupation, race, type of dwelling, and an index of crowding. After adjusting for asthma severity, logistic regression analysis showed that children with fathers in the economically least advantaged occupations were more likely to be hospitalized due to their asthma [father's occupation group 3 (FOG3), odds ratio (OR)=2.1, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) =0.2-19.8; father's occupation group 4 (FOG4), OR=13.9, 95% CI=1.1-181.4]. The probability of emergency department visits was not significantly different according to the studied variables. Emergency department visits were not influenced by SES variables, probably due to the absence of financial barriers to access health care. However, SES differences in hospitalization may suggest differential management and/or treatment practices according to socioeconomic status at the emergency departments.
- Emergency visits
- Socioeconomic status
- Universal access
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine