The effects of race/ethnicity and income on early childhood asthma prevalence and health care use

Am J Public Health. 2000 Mar;90(3):428-30. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.3.428.


Objectives: Asthma is the most common chronic illness among US children and is most prevalent in low-income and minority groups. We used multivariate models to disentangle the effects of race/ethnicity, income, and other individual-level risk factors on asthma in a population-based sample of children aged 3 years.

Methods: Data are from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey and 1991 Longitudinal Follow-Up. Odds ratios of asthma prevalence, hospitalization, and emergency room use were estimated, with control for socioeconomic characteristics, health behaviors, and insurance.

Results: Asthma prevalence, hospitalization, and emergency room use declined with increasing income for non-Black but not Black children.

Conclusions: Lifetime income and sociodemographic characteristics do not explain the excess risks of asthma and emergency health care use for asthma among young Black children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / ethnology*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology