OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence rate and risk factors for hospital admissions among asthma children and to evaluate care delivered to these patients. METHODS: Three-hundred and twenty-five asthmatic children attending a public outpatient reference clinic were studied. Of them, 202 were hospitalized. Care was evaluated using a questionnaire covering general aspects of hospital stay and biological, demographics, socioeconomic and asthma-related factors. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to measure the association between hospital admissions and selected independent variables. RESULTS: Of the total, 62.2% had already been hospitalized due to asthma, 64.9% developed asthma episodes, and 60.9% were hospitalized in their first year of life. Most (76.0%) had moderate to severe asthma. Despite that, 94.2% were not on anti-inflammatory drugs and were treated only during isolated acute episodes. None of these were regularly seen in primary health care centers for a periodic control of their steroid inhalants. Most parents (97.8%) referred not to know how to take care of asthma children. Symptoms onset is normally seen before the age of 12 months (OR=3.20; 95%CI 1.55-6,61) or between 12 and 24 months (OR=3.89; 95%CI 1.62-9.36). Mothers have attended school for less than 7 years (OR=3.06; 95%CI 1.62-5.76). Disease severity (OR=2.32; 95%CI 1.24-3.88), 2 or more monthly visits to emergency wards (OR=2.19; 95%CI 1.24-3.88), and referred recurrent pneumonia (OR=2.00; 95%IC 1.06-3.80) were the main risk factors for hospital admissions. CONCLUSIONS: Organizing health care services is crucial to reduce hospital admissions and provide adequate care for asthma children and adolescents, especially those less than 2 years old.
Asthma; Child well-being; Child health care (public health); Hospital admission; Hospitalized children; Risk factors