Treatment Regimen and Childhood Asthma: Implications for the Income Gradient in Health
53 Pages Posted: 24 May 2006 Last revised: 19 Dec 2008
Date Written: May 2007
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: Suggested Citation