Author

Renyea Colvin

Date of Award

4-28-2008

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Derek Shendell, D. Env., MPH - Chair

Second Advisor

Linneth Edwards, MS, MCPH

Third Advisor

John Steward, MPH

Abstract

Asthma is a leading cause of hospitalizations among children in the United States. It accounts for millions of dollars in hospital charges at the national, state, and county levels. The prevention of these hospitalizations is an important public health issue given the financial costs of hospitalizations in an already overburdened healthcare system. This study addresses sociodemographic factors associated with hospitalizations for childhood asthma among children who reside in DeKalb County, Georgia. Results highlight the unequal burden of asthma in the southern portion of the county. Additional analysis suggests that changes to existing institution-level surveillance systems can be made to improve upon the quality of data available to researchers. This research calls for a state-wide asthma surveillance system that routinely collects information on the most common indicators of disease burden, thereby improving the ability of public health professionals to accurately determine and manage the needs of children with asthma.

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