Treatment Regimen and Childhood Asthma: Implications for the Income Gradient in Health

53 Pages Posted: 24 May 2006 Last revised: 19 Dec 2008

See all articles by Aparajita Zutshi

Aparajita Zutshi

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, this study finds a strong income gradient in preventive medication use among children with asthma. Further examination reveals the source of the gradient to be newly diagnosed children. Part of the gradient among newly diagnosed children is explained by poor children's increased reliance on the emergency department as a site of care and their reduced frequency of contact with a doctor. While gaps in insurance and the length and irregularity of parental time spent at work reduce the likelihood of preventive medication use, these factors do not account for the income gradient among newly diagnosed children. Initial mismanagement of asthma by poor parents and/or the emergency department staff is a potentially important mechanism through which asthma erodes the health of poor children more than rich children.

Keywords: Socioeconomic status, Children's health, Asthma, Medication use

JEL Classification: I12, I18, J13

Suggested Citation

Zutshi, Aparajita, Treatment Regimen and Childhood Asthma: Implications for the Income Gradient in Health (May 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.904259

Aparajita Zutshi (Contact Author)

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. ( email )

P.O. Box 2393
Princeton, NJ 08543-2393
United States

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