Social risk factors for pediatric asthma exacerbations: A systematic review

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Sep 20:2023.09.19.23295732. doi: 10.1101/2023.09.19.23295732.


Objective: This systematic review aims to identify social risk factors that influence pediatric asthma exacerbations.

Methods: Cohort studies published between 2010 and 2020 were systematically searched on the OVID Medline, Embase, and PsycInfo databases. Using our established phased inclusion and exclusion criteria, studies that did not address a pediatric population, social risk factors, and asthma exacerbations were excluded. Out of a total of 707 initially retrieved articles, 3 prospective cohort and 6 retrospective cohort studies were included.

Results: Upon analysis of our retrieved studies, two overarching domains of social determinants, as defined by Healthy People 2030, were identified as major risk factors for pediatric asthma exacerbations: Social/Community Context and Neighborhood/Built Environment. Social/Community factors including African American race and inadequate caregiver perceptions were associated with increased risk for asthma exacerbations. Patients in high-risk neighborhoods, defined by lower levels of education, housing, and employment, had higher rates of emergency department readmissions and extended duration of stay. Additionally, a synergistic interaction between the two domains was found such that patients with public or no health insurance and residence in high-risk neighborhoods were associated with excess hospital utilization attributable to pediatric asthma exacerbations.

Conclusion: Social risk factors play a significant role in influencing the frequency and severity of pediatric asthma exacerbations.

Keywords: child; neighborhood characteristics; respiratory; social determinants of health; socioeconomic factor.

Publication types

  • Preprint