Asthma prevalence among American Indian and Alaska Native children.
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Asthma prevalence among American Indian and Alaska Native children.

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      Public Health Rep
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      Although asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness in the United States, little is known about its prevalence among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children. The authors used the latest available household survey data to estimate the prevalence of asthma in this population.|The authors analyzed data for children ages 1 through 17 years from the 1987 Survey of American Indians and Alaska Natives (SAIAN) and the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES). At least one member of each AI/AN household included in the SAIAN was eligible for services through the Indian Health Service.|The weighted prevalence of parent-reported asthma was 7.06% among 2288 AI/AN children ages 1-17 (95% CI 5.08, 9.04), compared with a US estimate of 8.40% for children ages 1-17 based on the 1987 NMES (95% CI 7.65, 9.15). The AI/AN sample was too small to yield stable estimates for a comparison between AI/AN children and all US children when the data were stratified according to household income and metropolitan vs non-metropolitan residence. The unadjusted asthma prevalence rates were similar for AI/AN children and for children in the NMES sample.|In 1987, the prevalence of parent-reported asthma was similar for AI/AN children in the SAIAN sample and for children in the NMES sample. More recent data are needed to better understand the current prevalence of asthma among AI/AN children.
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