Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Risk factors for readmission to hospital for asthma in childhood.
  1. E A Mitchell,
  2. J M Bland,
  3. J M Thompson
  1. Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


    BACKGROUND--Readmissions account for part of the increase in hospital admissions for asthma in childhood seen in many countries. METHODS--This observational study recorded demographic features and the severity, treatment and management of asthma in 1034 individual children admitted to hospital over a one year period, followed for a maximum of 33 months. RESULTS--Readmissions were common, with 33% readmitted by six months and 51% by two years. After controlling for a wide range of variables, factors that significantly increased readmission were: female sex (relative risk (RR) 1.23; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03 to 1.46), young age (age < 5 years RR 1.71; 95% CI 1.41 to 2.08), number of previous admissions (one previous admission RR 1.32; two, RR 1.68; three, RR 2.00; four or more, RR 2.80), and inpatient intravenous treatment (RR 1.29; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.55). Inpatient treatment with theophylline was used frequently (98.4%), but was associated with decreased readmissions (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.92). Factors which did not predict readmission included ethnicity, respiratory and pulse rate, medical team, prescribed prophylactic treatment, type of follow up, or the use of action plans. CONCLUSIONS--Risk factors for readmission relate to the characteristics of the individual (age and sex), severity of the condition (intravenous treatment), and number of previous admissions which may reflect severity or behaviour of the illness. Medical treatment and management did not influence readmissions. Strategies to reduce the high readmission rate for asthma in childhood need to be developed.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.