Impact of family socioeconomic position on childhood asthma outcomes, severity, and specialist referral - a Danish nationwide study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children, carrying a major burden. Socioeconomic position (SEP) affects adult asthma outcomes, but its impact on childhood asthma, particularly in primary versus specialist care, has not been studied thoroughly.

METHODS: In a Danish cohort consisting of all children aged 2-17 years redeeming inhaled corticosteroids in 2015, parental SEP impact on asthma outcomes was investigated. Workforce attachment, income, education, and metropolitan residence were chosen as covariates in logistic regression. Outcomes were uncontrolled (excessive use of short-acting beta2-agonists), exacerbating (oral corticosteroid use or hospitalization), and severe asthma (according to GINA 2020).

RESULTS: The cohort comprised 29,851 children (median age 8.0, 59% boys). 16% had uncontrolled asthma, 8% had ≥1 exacerbation. Lower income and metropolitan residence correlated with higher odds of poor control, exacerbations, and severe asthma. Lower education correlated with worse asthma outcomes. Education and income were protective factors in primary care, but not in specialist care. Metropolitan residence was the sole factor linked to specialist care referral for severe asthma.

CONCLUSION: Low parental SEP and metropolitan residence associated with poor asthma outcomes. However, specialist care often mitigated these effects, though such care was less likely for at-risk children in non-metropolitan areas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Volume21
Pages (from-to)14799731241231816
ISSN1479-9723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Male
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Asthma/drug therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • burden
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • Pediatric asthma
  • referral
  • disparity

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