Effectiveness of a specialized asthma clinic in reducing asthma morbidity in an inner-city minority population

J Asthma. 1995;32(5):335-43. doi: 10.3109/02770909509082758.


Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and a leading cause of morbidity in adults. Despite significant advances in medical therapy, asthma morbidity and mortality rates have risen dramatically over the past two decades, especially in minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Numerous intervention programs have been designed in an attempt to reduce asthma morbidity but few have targeted poor or minority populations. The purpose of this study was to assess whether an outpatient intervention program specifically targeted at a high-minority population in East Harlem, in New York City, was successful in reducing asthma morbidity. A retrospective chart review of 84 patient records was conducted. The patients were divided into two groups, an intervention group (n = 45), who were followed by an asthma specialist (allergist/immunologist), and a nonintervention group, followed by a general internist or pediatrician. Outcome variables including clinic walk-in visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations were determined and compared in the pre- and postintervention period in both groups. Patients in the intervention group had reduced total walk-in visits (73 vs. 27, p < 0.001), emergency room visits (30 vs. 5, p < 0.001), and hospitalizations (16 vs. 2, p < 0.001). In contrast, patients in the nonintervention group had no change in total walk-in visits (88 vs. 72), increased emergency visits (7 vs. 22, p < 0.05), and no change in hospitalizations (5 vs. 2), respectively. The outpatient intervention program has been successful in reducing asthma morbidity in the high-risk minority community of East Harlem. Future larger studies are warranted to extend this pilot program to other high-risk minority populations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Poverty Areas
  • Urban Health Services*