Passive smoking, damp homes or poor routine asthma care does not explain high rates of inner-city use of A&E in children with asthma, according to researchers in the UK.
A case-controlled study including 1,018 children who attended A&E for asthma over 12 months and 394 children who had not attended A&E for asthma over the previous year showed risk factors including having a parent who felt panic or fear when their child had asthma symptoms.
Parents also attended A&E, thinking they would be seen faster than at a GP surgery. There was a reduced risk of this when they were confident the GP could treat asthma attacks.
The authors suggest appropriate settings for treating children with asthma attacks need to be identified and patients made aware of them.
Forbes, L. et al (2007) Risk factors for accident and emergency (A&E) attendance for asthma in inner-city children. Thorax; 62: 10, 855–860.