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Identifying Asthma-related Health Disparities Among Children in Hillsborough County

Identifying Asthma-related Health Disparities Among Children in Hillsborough County content piece image
Angela S. Garcia, PharmD, MPH, CPh; Radha V. Patel, PharmD, MPH, BCACP, CPh; Daniel Forrister, PharmD, MPH; Kyle Guerrero, BS, PharmD Candidate; Kristal Urena, BS, PharmD Candidate

Identifying Asthma-related Health Disparities Among Children in Hillsborough County

Currently the Florida Department of Health Florida Asthma Coalition (FAC) has identified key strategic goals to reduce asthma-related health disparities. As identified in the key findings from the 2013 Burden of Asthma in Florida, the Florida Department of Health estimates there are greater than 2.6 million children and adults in Florida with asthma which has significantly increased since the previous report last year. Only one in three children with asthma has received an Asthma Action Plan and only one in ten children has received education and training on how to manage his or her disease. Several programs exist that utilize validated education and training modules to improve the safety and management of children with asthma, such as American Lung Association’s Open Airways For Schools® and the FAC Asthma-Friendly Child Care Centers and Schools Recognition Programs.

To rank and identify contributing factors to pediatric asthma rates in Hillsborough County, FL. To develop a weighed matrix and geographic representation of priority zip codes with increased asthma-related risks in pediatric populations that may benefit from a validated school-based asthma curriculum in Hillsborough County, FL.

Recruit two student pharmacist interns to perform data mining and surveillance analysis. Determine characteristics reflective of the burden of disease for asthma in the target population by synthesizing asthma-related reports, databases and service programs. Utilize prevalence, air quality, and income as community characteristics that may have an effect on the burden of disease in a targeted geographic region. Synthesize a weighted evaluation matrix using data from 2009-2013 emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations in Hillsborough County with a primary diagnosis of asthma to rank priority zip codes by risk and need for clinical interventions and school-based asthma services and education.

Out of 63 evaluable zip codes, 33610 had the highest number of ED visits and hospitalizations for children 0-4 years and 5-17 years. Rates by zip code also correlated to the lowest average incomes with 33605 having rates in the top five and lowest mean income. Out of 216 schools in Hillsborough County, zero have completed the statewide asthma initiatives for schools as compared to other counties.

Conclusion: There is a significant gap in attention and resources dedicated to the pediatric asthma population in Hillsborough County. Partnering with the Florida Asthma Coalition to implement validated asthma management programs is especially important in high risk communities to improve outcomes and address the burden of disease.