Black children were twice as likely as white children to have asthma from 2001 to 2010, while disparities based on at-risk rates, including ED visits and hospitalizations, decreased, according to recent CDC-based study data.
Lara J. Akinbami, MD, of the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, and colleagues used data to calculate estimates of asthma prevalence and outcomes, including ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths, for children aged 0 to 17 years. Weighted loglinear regression was used to calculate trends, while Joinpoint measured time changes in racial disparity.
Lara J. Akinbami
“Disparities in asthma prevalence between black and white children increased from 2001 to 2010 (P>.01); at the end of this period, black children were twice as likely as white children to have asthma,” the researchers wrote.
An estimated 4.4 million white children had asthma in 2001 vs. 1.2 million blacks. While estimated cases among black children grew to 1.7 million in 2010, prevalence among whites showed no significant difference at 4.5 million. The black/white rate ratio of asthma prevalence grew from 1.4 in 2001 to 2 in 2007 and beyond.
The population-based rate (PBR) was higher for black children than for whites and did not change significantly during the period. It remained stable for ED visits and hospitalizations and increased for asthma attack prevalence and deaths.
At-risk rate (ARR; differences in asthma prevalence) was similar for black and white children, but declined more rapidly for blacks (–2.6% vs. –1.4% annually). ARR analysis “showed that disparities in asthma outcomes remained stable (deaths), decreased (ED visits, hospitalizations) or did not exist (asthma attack prevalence).”
“It is encouraging that asthma ED visit and hospitalization disparities based on ARRs have decreased and that disparities in asthma deaths have not increased,” the researchers concluded. “Nonetheless, concerns remain. Prevalence continued to increase among black children, and even after accounting for this factor, racial disparities remain in asthma ED visit and death rates.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.