Differences in follow-up visits between African American and white Medicaid children hospitalized with asthma

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1997 Feb;8(1):83-98. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2010.0450.


Asthma-related hospitalizations and mortality have risen at alarming rates in the past two decades, taking a disproportionate toll on African American children. Adverse asthma outcomes have been attributed to inadequacies in primary care, raising concerns about the quality of primary care delivered to African American children. To assess differences in care between African American and white children, the authors identified 500 children enrolled in Massachusetts Medicaid and hospitalized for asthma, and reviewed their medical claims data for the six-month period after hospitalization. It was found that African American children had significantly fewer primary care visits than their white counterparts, even after adjusting for potential confounding variables. In contrast, emergency service utilization did not differ by race. The authors conclude that racial disparity exists in primary care access among children with asthma. Interventions should be designed to target poor African American children who suffer disproportionately from this life-threatening yet treatable disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aftercare / psychology
  • Aftercare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Asthma / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data*