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Epidemiology of deaths from asthma in Pennsylvania, 1978-87.
  • Published Date:
    1993 Jan-Feb
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 108(1):66-69
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-669.40 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:
    Asthma affects an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population and is the most common chronic disease among children. To determine one component of the public health burden of asthma in Pennsylvania, death certificates were reviewed of persons younger than 35 years who died from asthma during the period 1978-87. Blacks had nearly a sevenfold greater risk of death from asthma than whites. The highest death rates were found among black males and residents of the State's two largest urban areas, Philadelphia County and Allegheny County. A total of 67 percent of asthma deaths occurred outside of the health care system or in a hospital emergency department. Although reasons for excess deaths among black urban residents are not well understood, inadequate access to health care may play a role. Deaths from asthma are uncommon, but they are largely preventable. Intensified public health, preventive, and curative strategies regarding asthma need to be directed to the black urban population.
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