The Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Asthma Hospitalization Rates by Rural Classification


Asthma hospitalization rates have increased in the past decade. Research has shown that there are multiple correlates for this increase but that driving causal factors may differ for asthma hospitalization rates in rural and non-rural settings. Here we examine the socioeconomic correlates to asthma hospitalization rates in Maine for both rural and non-rural populations to examine the similarity and differences in causal factors. Findings indicate a clear SES gradient relative to asthma hospitalization rates; as population measured SES decreased, asthma hospitalization rates increased. The associated causal factors were found to differ in rural and non-rural areas. In non-rural areas, the presence of insurance was associated with increases in the asthma hospitalization rates while in rural areas, income, occupation and the percentage of non-English language speaking persons were associated with lower asthma hospitalization rates. Public policy should focus on targeted prevention strategies at the community level, especially in rural areas where cultural competency and socioeconomic factors are increasingly important.


Health Management and Policy

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Journal of Community Health



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