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J Pediatr. 2016 Jan;168:198-204. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Sep 26.

Pollution, Poverty, and Potentially Preventable Childhood Morbidity in Central California.

Author information

1
Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Central California Center for Health and Human Service, California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA. Electronic address: llessard@csufresno.edu.
2
Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Central California Center for Health and Human Service, California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To measure ecological relationships between neighborhood pollution burden, poverty, race/ethnicity, and pediatric preventable disease hospitalization rates.

STUDY DESIGN:

Preventable disease hospitalization rates were obtained from the 2012 California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database, for 8 Central Valley counties. US Census Data was used to incorporate zip code level factors including racial diversity and poverty rates. The pollution burden score was calculated by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment using 11 indicators. Poisson-based negative binomial regression was used for final analysis. Stratification of sample by age, race/ethnicity, and insurance coverage was also incorporated.

RESULTS:

Children experiencing potentially preventable hospitalizations are disproportionately low income and under the age of 4 years. With every unit increase in pollution burden, preventable disease hospitalizations rates increase between 21% and 32%, depending on racial and age subgroups. Although living in a poor neighborhood was not associated with potentially avoidable hospitalizations, children enrolled in Medi-Cal who live in neighborhoods with lower pollution burden and lower levels of poverty, face 32% lower risk for ambulatory care sensitive condition hospitalization. Children living in primary care shortage areas are at increased risk of preventable hospitalizations. Preventable disease hospitalizations increase for all subgroups, except white/non-Hispanic children, as neighborhoods became more racially diverse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Understanding the geographic distribution of disease and impact of individual and community level factors is essential to expanding access to care and preventive resources to improve the health of children in California's most polluted and underserved region.

PMID:
26421486
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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