The Burden and Social Determinants of Asthma Among Children in the State of Georgia

Mark H. Ebell, Christian Marchello, Lu Meng, Jean O’Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Asthma is one of the most common chronic health conditions in children, and social determinants are thought to be important risk factors. We used Georgia data from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), and data from the Georgia hospital and emergency department survey for children with a diagnosis of asthma. All data were from the years 2011 to 2016. SAS and SUDAAN were used to calculate weighted prevalence estimates and to perform univariate and multivariate analysis of the association between social determinants, demographic characteristics, other potential risk factors, and asthma-related outcomes. The prevalence of asthma is higher in African-American children and when the parental income is less than $75,000 per year. A multivariate analysis adjusting for ethnicity, parental income, and sex found that the strongest independent predictor of asthma was African-American race (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.5–5.8). African-American and multiracial children also experienced extremely high burdens due to asthma related hospitalizations and emergency department visits, with rates two to five times higher than children in other groups. The secular trend for ED visits and hospitalizations is declining. African-American race is an independent predictor of asthma in children in Georgia, and African-American and multiracial children experience a greater burden of asthma than children of other races. Programmatic efforts at the state and national level to improve access, adherence, and knowledge about asthma are important if we are to continue to improve outcomes for these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019


  • Adults
  • Asthma
  • Prevalence
  • Social determinants
  • Socioeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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