Objective: Asthma is an important determinant of
hospitalization. The study aims to examine the modifying effects of
demographic and socioeconomic factors on the relationship between
asthma and the overall number of hospitalizations.
Methods: We examined the data on 17,601 Canadians who were≥
12 years of age to explore the combined effects of asthma and other
factors on hospitalization within the context of a publicly funded
health-care system. Asthma was determined by an affirmative response to
the question: “Do you have asthma diagnosed by a health
professional?” The subjects also were asked whether they had been an
overnight patient in a hospital during the past 12 months.
Results: Asthma as a risk factor explained 3.7% of all
hospitalizations of men and 2.4% of all hospitalizations of women.
Overall, hospitalization was positively associated with female gender,
old age, and low household income. The odds ratio for asthma as a risk
factor for overall hospitalization (ie, hospitalization for
any reason and all causes, not only for asthma) was greater for younger
men than for older men, for less-educated women than for well-educated
women, and for men with middle or high incomes than for men with low
Conclusions: These results suggest that
demographic and socioeconomic factors play a role in the relationship
between asthma and the overall number of hospitalizations, with certain
population subgroups being at greater risk of hospitalization in
relation to asthma.