Assessing Disparities in the Receipt of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescriptions for Asthma by Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Patients

RUHRC Authors: Blanchette, C
Publication Date: 02/01/2015
Full Publication: Assessing Disparities in the Receipt of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescriptions for Asthma by Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Patients

Abstract

Rationale: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are widely used in the management of asthma. Prior research suggests that access to ICS among patients with asthma may vary by ethnicity.

Objectives: Study objectives were to determine if there is a difference in the proportion of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients with asthma in the receipt of an ICS prescription and to determine independent predictors for the receipt of an ICS prescription for asthma.

Methods: The 2009 U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data were used to compare the receipt of ICS prescription among patients with asthma with the following inclusion criteria: Hispanic and non-Hispanic white ethnicity, age over 4 years, and diagnostic codes for asthma. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the influence of race/ethnicity and other significant factors on the receipt of an ICS prescription.

Measurements and Main Results: There were 1,469 patients with asthma, corresponding to a weighted sample of 14,401,069 U.S. patients with asthma who met the inclusion criteria, represented by 16.1% Hispanic, 59.5% female, and mean age of 39.9 years. Among non-Hispanic white patients with asthma, 39.7% (35% children and 41% adults) had a receipt of an ICS prescription compared with 22.2% of Hispanic patients (23.9% children and 21.2% adults); P < 0.001. In the multiple regression model, Hispanic patients aged 18 years or older had 43% lower odds (odds ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.3–0.9) of having a receipt of an ICS prescription compared with non-Hispanic white patients, independent of other factors. There was no significant difference in receipt of an ICS prescription between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children with asthma (aged 4–17 yr).

Conclusions: The disparity in the receipt of ICS prescription between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adult patients with asthma could result in suboptimal asthma management, a higher rate of exacerbations, and higher health care costs in this growing minority population. The differences and potential disparities in the receipt of an ICS prescription between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients with asthma warrant further investigation to better understand the reasons for such disparities, along with their impact on the U.S. health care burden and interventions that can be undertaken to reduce these disparities.

Suggested Citation

Kharat AA, Borrego ME, Raisch DW, Roberts MH, Blanchette CM, Petersen H. Assessing Disparities in the Receipt of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescriptions for Asthma by Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Patients. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015;12(2):174-183.