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Matern Child Health J. 1998 Dec;2(4):223-9.

Characteristics of children having multiple Medicaid-paid asthma hospitalizations.

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California Department of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Branch, Sacramento, USA.



We undertook this population-based study to describe the characteristics of poor children with multiple asthma hospitalizations and to discern if poor minority children have a greater risk for these events than poor white children.


We conducted a retrospective analysis of 1994 California hospital discharge data for asthma hospitalizations among 1 to 12-year-old Medicaid patients (N = 6844 discharges). Risk factors for multiple Medicaid asthma hospitalizations were calculated by using logistic regression procedures.


In 1994, asthma hospitalizations accounted for 11.6% of Medicaid-funded hospitalizations for 1 to 12-year-olds in California. These hospitalizations had a mean length of 2.7 days and a mean hospital charge of $6532. After we controlled for source of admission and length of stay, African American children (OR, 1.93; 95% CI 1.49-2.49) and Latino children (OR, 1.34; 95% CI 1.04-1.72) had a higher risk of multiple Medicaid-paid hospitalizations for asthma than did white children. Adjusted odds ratios for multiple asthma hospitalizations were 1.35 (CI, 1.05-1.74) for children with emergency room admissions, and 1.16 (CI, 0.97-1.39) for children having hospital stays of at least 5 days duration.


Among children with Medicaid-paid hospitalizations for asthma, the risk for multiple asthma hospitalizations within a year was greater among African Americans and Latinos than among whites. Programs attempting to decrease repeat hospitalizations for asthma may benefit by focusing on these populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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