Atlanta, GA–There is no cure for asthma, but with the proper diagnosis, medication and an asthma management plan, symptoms can be controlled. When not properly controlled asthma can be deadly. A study being presented at the 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) annual Meeting called “Where Do Children with Asthma Die? A National Perspective from 2003 to 2014” seeks to address where and which demographics of children are dying because of asthma in the United States.
“Deaths from asthma, especially among children, are sentinel events that can be avoided with timely interventions,” said Anna Chen Arroyo, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead author of the study. “Studying the location of asthma deaths provides important insight that can help target efforts to prevent future deaths.”
The researchers used National Center for Health Statistics data to look into 2,571 pediatric asthma deaths between 2003 and 2014 and found that the mortality rate among black children was six times higher than among Hispanic or white children.
They also discovered that just over 50% of deaths for all demographics occurred in emergency departments or clinics rather than at home or in a hospital. Children who had been in the hospital accounted for 30% of total deaths, while deaths at home or out of the healthcare setting only made up 14%. For all locations, black children were more likely to die than any other group examined in the study.
“The variation in the location of pediatric asthma deaths by race or ethnicity may imply a differential access to care. Studying these variations provides important insight and understanding these differences may guide future interventions more effectively,” said Dr. Chen Arroyo.