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Articles  |   May 2001
A retrospective study of risk factors for repeated admissions for asthma in a rural/suburban university hospital
Article Information
Pulmonary Disorders
Articles   |   May 2001
A retrospective study of risk factors for repeated admissions for asthma in a rural/suburban university hospital
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2001, Vol. 101, 14S-17S. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2001, Vol. 101, 14S-17S. doi:
Abstract

In the study reported, the authors examined risk factors for repeated hospital admissions for asthma in a rural/suburban setting. Charts of patients who were hospitalized two or more times with the diagnosis of asthma between June 1991 and January 1998 were reviewed. A questionnaire was completed for each admission for 65 patients. The results demonstrated an equal male-to-female ratio, with a mean age of 27 years. Hispanics represented 12% of the patients although they accounted for only 2.5% of the general population in the area under study. The mean number of hospital admissions was 3.2. A history of depression existed in 25% of the patients. Noncompliance was admitted in 38%. Twenty-five percent were active tobacco smokers. Acknowledged triggers of asthma included viral infections (74%), exercise (50%), weather conditions (43%), dust (38%), cats (36%), sinusitis (32%), pollen (32%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (31%), dogs (30%), smoke (28%), and emotional stress (15%). Medications at time of admission included albuterol (98%), salmeterol xinafoate (26%), theophylline (38%), ipratropium bromide (55%), nedocromil sodium (20%), cromolyn sodium (35%), prednisone (49%), and inhaled corticosteroids (69%). Ninety-five percent had access to a primary care physician. Fifty-seven percent had a pulmonary and 11% had an allergy consult. These data suggest that patients in rural/suburban areas with repeated hospitalizations for asthma have a high probability of noncompliance, depression, and allergenic triggers. Gastroesophageal reflux was a common recognized trigger. Inhaled steroids were underused, whereas ipratropium and theophylline were overused. Bilingual education on asthma and triggers and social support are necessary even in rural healthcare settings without a large minority population.