Researchers cite medication compliance, low flu vaccination rates, and limited access to primary care providers as the reasons for high pediatric asthma rates in California.

Analyzing data from the 2011-12 California Health Interview Survey, the study details several issues affecting asthma care and offers a number of public policy strategies that could help remedy these shortcomings. The research was published in the journal Population Health Management.

“Asthma is one of the most common chronic pediatric conditions in the U.S. and a major reason for emergency department visits and hospitalizations in children,” said Ulfat Shaikh, clinical quality officer at the California Department of Health Care Services and director of Healthcare Quality at the UC Davis School of Medicine. “Emergency department visits for chronic conditions such as asthma are frequently the bellwether of sub-optimal primary care and community-based support. However, by creating better support structures around these children, we can have a significant impact on their health and quality of life.”

To understand the status of asthma in California, the researchers mined data from the most recent California Health Interview Survey, which includes 44,000 households from every county in California.

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