Study: African-American kids twice as likely to be readmitted to a hospital for asthma

CINCINNATI -- A study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital states African-American children are twice as likely as white kids to be readmitted to the hospital for asthma.

The study found that 23 percent of black children were readmitted within a year, while 11 percent of other children in the study – most of whom were white – were readmitted within a year. Nearly 19 percent of all children were readmitted to the hospital within 12 months.

The report says it's mainly because of a disparity in financial and social hardships accounted for about 40 percent of the increased likelihood of readmission among black children.

Researchers say a way to cut health costs would be to find a way for home delivery of asthma medications instead of trying to get families to find a way to a pharmacy.

"Readmission rates are a central focus of healthcare reform," Dr. Andrew Beck said in a release. "Reducing disparities in such outcomes will be critical, especially since payment reform will be based more on quality outcomes and less so on healthcare encounters. Our findings suggest a more intense patient- and population-level focus on the financial and social hardships that underlie racial disparities may provide one path for achieving better outcomes.

Beck added that other factors such as pollution, tobacco exposure and housing quality may explain "residual disparities and provide further targets for intervention.”

Asthma affects nearly one out of every 11 kids.

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