Admission patterns for childhood acute asthma: Christchurch 1974-89

N Z Med J. 1991 Jul 10;104(915):277-9.


Object: to examine trends in hospital admission for acute childhood asthma in Christchurch over the period 1974-89.

Methods: trends in the estimated annual rates of admission and readmission for asthma were compared between boys and girls in each of three age groups: 0-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-13 years.

Results: for both sexes there was a 4.5-5 fold increase in overall rates of admission during the survey period. Boys on average had higher admission rates than girls with this effect being most marked in the preschool age group. Since the mid 1980s there has been a changing pattern of admissions with a downward trend in admission rates for school aged children and a continuing upward trend in the preschool age group. An alarming new trend is a rise in the numbers of preschool girls admitted with acute asthma: admission rates for this group have shown a three-fold increase since 1983.

Conclusions: possible reasons for the changing pattern of admissions are discussed, with emphasis on the possible role of the increased use of cromoglycate and inhaled steroid in older children. Further research is needed to determine whether the trends in these data are reflected throughout the country.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Collection
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Admission / trends
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Readmission / trends
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors