Mortality from asthma in children and young adults in Louisiana

Gungor E Eroglu, Felicia A Rabito, Sudesh K Srivastav
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2002, 89 (2): 191-4

BACKGROUND: Asthma mortality rates have been increasing despite our improved understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma and advanced methods of treatment. Although there are many national studies of asthma mortality rates, few studies have concentrated on subnational regions such as individual states.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the trends in asthma mortality in children and young adults during the last 15 years in Louisiana.

METHODS: Asthma mortality data were acquired from the Louisiana State Center for Health Statistics for the years 1983 through 1997. All asthma deaths coded International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision 493 were included in the data set along with year, sex, and rate characteristics. State population estimates obtained from the United States Bureau of Census for three 5-year periods (1983 to 1987, 1988 to 1992, and 1993 to 1997) were used to calculate crude and adjusted mortality rates. These time periods were compared with one another and with the period 1983 to 1987, which was used as a baseline.

RESULTS: For all residents, the mortality rate increased from 0.41 deaths per 100,000 persons during the 1983 to 1987 time period to 0.49 and 0.63 deaths per 100,000 persons during 1988 to 1992 and 1993 to 1997 time periods, respectively. Mortality rates have increased in both the white and non-white populations over the 15-year study period, with the most pronounced increases among the non-white population.

CONCLUSION: Asthma mortality rates in Louisiana have increased, particularly among the non-white population, over the last 15 years, although the results are not statistically significant. When compared with other states, asthma mortality in Louisiana is lower than in the northeast and central north states.

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