AAdolescents; Asthma; Asthma in children; Asthmatics; Children; Rural health; Teenagers; Urban health


Community-Based Research | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Environmental Public Health | Epidemiology | Inequality and Stratification | Public Health


Context: Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness that is increasing in prevalence among children in the United States. A limited number of studies have examined the relationship between rurality and the prevalence of asthma in minority children, and those studies found mixed results. The aim of this study is to examine urban/rural locality and its impact on asthma episodes and preventable emergency department visits, and to provide quantitative evidence concerning the relationship between patient characteristics and geographic location. Methods: This is a retrospective study and secondary data analysis of the 2000 National Health Interview Survey. Parametric testing using Univariate/Bivariate/Multivariate analysis was performed to examine emergency department utilization for asthma episodes among urban/rural children and adolescents in the United States. Findings: Regardless of the geographic location, Black children were more likely to visit the emergency room within the past twelve months (urban area (OR=1.59; 95% CI 0.87, 2.33) – rural area (OR=2.68; 95% CI 1.39, 4.05)). Additionally, children who experienced an asthma episode in the past twelve months were more likely to report not visiting the emergency department (OR=1.93; 95% CI 1.53, 2.44). Conclusions: Racial and urban/rural differences exist among children with asthma visits to the emergency department. Asthma prevalence and disparities continue to be a burden in the United States and its deficiencies across geographic locations reflect the health of the US population as a whole.