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WMJ. 2000 Nov;99(8):52-6.

Asthma hospitalizations in Wisconsin: a missed opportunity for prevention.

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Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Asthma is the most common chronic disease of children and the third leading cause of preventable hospitalizations in the United States. To assess the impact of this disease on Wisconsin, we examined 1996-1998 state-wide and county-specific asthma hospitalization rates and compared these rates to Wisconsin 1990-1992 rates, national rates, and United States Healthy People 2010 asthma target objectives. Wisconsin's average asthma hospitalization rate has decreased from 13.4/10,000 during 1990-1992 to 12.1/10,000 during 1996-1998. Wisconsin children 0-4 years of age had the highest asthma-related hospitalization rate (38.0/10,000) of all age groups, during 1996-1998. Wisconsin African American residents had an average asthma hospitalization rate 6.6 times higher than whites (58.5 vs. 8.8 per 10,000, respectively) during 1996-1998. Milwaukee County had the highest county-specific asthma hospitalization rate in the state (26.4/10,000). Unless significant reductions are achieved, Wisconsin will not reach the Healthy People 2010 target objectives. Interventions should be directed to preventing asthma hospitalizations, especially among Wisconsin's youth and African American population.

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