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J Pediatr. 2012 Feb;160(2):325-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.07.037. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Low rates of controller medication initiation and outpatient follow-up after emergency department visits for asthma.

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Division of General Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



To determine what proportion of patients who are seen in an emergency department (ED) for asthma receive inhaled corticosteroids or attend follow-up appointments.


This was a retrospective cohort study of 2007-2009 South Carolina Medicaid data. Enrollees aged 2-18 years who had an ED visit for asthma were included. Patients admitted for asthma or with an inhaled corticosteroid claim in the 2 months before the month of the ED visit were excluded. Covariates were sex, race, age, rural residence, and asthma severity. Outcome measures were a prescription for an inhaled corticosteroid filled within the 2 months after the ED visit and attendance at a follow-up appointment within the 2 months after the ED visit.


A total of 3435 patients were included. Out of the study cohort, 57% were male, 76% were of a minority race/ethnicity, 69% lived in an urban areas, 18% had inhaled corticosteroid use, and 12% completed follow-up. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that patients with severe asthma were more likely to receive an inhaled corticosteroid (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.3-3.7) and attend a follow-up appointment (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.5-2.6). Patients aged 2-6 years and those aged >12 years were less likely to attend follow-up (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.56-0.90 and OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.47-0.83, respectively) (all models P < .0001).


Children with asthma seen in the ED have low rates of inhaled corticosteroid use and outpatient follow-up. This indicates a need for further interventions to increase the use of inhaled corticosteroids in response to ED visits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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