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Population Health Considerations for Pediatric Asthma: Findings from the 2011–2012 California Health Interview Survey


Childhood asthma is a prevalent and costly chronic condition. Optimal management enables secondary and tertiary prevention. The goal was to identify population health considerations for pediatric asthma in California to inform the development of quality improvement interventions. California Health Interview Survey 2011-2012 is a random-digit dial telephone survey conducted in 5 languages. It includes 44,000 households from all 58 counties in California. This study assessed factors related to symptom control and health care use in children ages 2-11 years with asthma. An estimated 492,385 (9.6%) of children in California currently have asthma. Urban and rural residents face comparable asthma disease burdens. School-age male children as well as Asian and African American children are disproportionately affected. Asthma causes significant morbidity, with poorer health status, high utilization of emergency care, and the need for daily medication use. Only 38% of children with asthma have a recent asthma management plan. Half of all children with asthma did not receive influenza immunization in the past year, although this reflects the overall low rate of influenza vaccination. Parents of children with asthma frequently utilize the Internet for health information and communication with their child's health care provider. Children with asthma in California face several population-level challenges, including poor health status, low influenza vaccination rates, high use of emergency care, and suboptimal use of health literacy tools. Focusing on improved care coordination and preventive care for high-risk groups is especially urgent given the expansion of public health insurance and impending shortages in the primary care workforce. (Population Health Management 2016;19:145-151).

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