Asthma, a multifactorial disease associated with familial, infectious, allergenic, socioeconomic, psychosocial, and environmental factors, is one of the leading chronic diseases that afflicts children and young adults in the United States. The frequency and length of stay of asthma hospitalizations in California in 1993 were consistent with nationwide rates. The annual rate of asthma hospitalization in California was 13.4/10,000 compared with 17.0/ 10,000 in the United States. The average length of stay for an asthma hospitalization was 3.3 days in California compared with 3.9 days nationwide. Finally, asthma hospitalizations comprised 1.4% of all hospitalizations in California and 1.5% of all hospitalizations nationwide. sildenafil citrate pink

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has stated that “failure to characterize the differences in disease characteristics, occurrence, and causes across minority groups and to address the reasons may have significant detrimental public health, social, and economic consequences.” This study extends the previous research in this area by examining asthma hospitalization across different age and race/ethnic groups, levels of income, and urbanicity. We conclude that across all age and income groups, and whether residing in urban or rural areas, blacks were at dramatically higher risk of being hospitalized for asthma. While there is no known biological reason for the prevalence of asthma to be greater among blacks compared with other racial/ethnic groups, being black may be a surrogate for unmeasured discrimination, lower quality of care, and limited health-care access, even in systems where access should not be a variable. For example, Peterson et al found that in the Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system, blacks received fewer cardiac procedures after myocardial infarction compared with whites. Lozano et al demonstrated that among the Washington Medicaid population, black asthmatic children were less likely to have an office visit for asthma, suggesting that barriers other than insurance may exist for treatment of minority children with chronic illnesses.