Risk Factors Associated with Asthma-Related Hospitalizations Among Older Adults
Saturday, March 5, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Joy Hsu, MD, MSCI, Jessica Chen, BA, Maria C Mirabelli, PhD
Rationale: Asthma morbidity is elevated among the growing number of older adults in the United States. Targeted interventions to improve asthma control in this population are not well-described.

Methods: We investigated risk factors for asthma-related hospitalization using a sample of older adults (≥65 years) with active asthma from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Asthma Call-back Survey, a random-digit dialing survey. We conducted weighted logistic regression analyses using 2006–2010 data to compare older adults with and without asthma-related hospitalizations in the past year with respect to clinical, environmental, and financial measures. We controlled for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: Among 14,076 older adults with active asthma (representing >2.6 million persons), 5.7% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]=5.0–6.4%) reported ≥1 asthma-related hospitalization in the past year. Compared to older adults without asthma-related hospitalizations, the adjusted odds were higher among older adults with ≥1 asthma-related hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adjusted odds ratio[aOR]=4.88, 95% CI=3.36–7.09), coronary artery disease (aOR=1.92, 95% CI=1.46–2.51), depression (aOR=1.66, 95% CI=1.25–2.21), mold in the home (aOR=2.01, 95% CI=1.33–3.03), and cost as a barrier to accessing asthma-related health care (primary care aOR=3.69, 95% CI=2.25–6.05; specialty care aOR=4.72, 95% CI=2.63–8.45; asthma medication aOR=3.23, 95% CI=2.21–4.72).

Conclusions: Among older adults, asthma-related hospitalizations were associated with medical comorbidities, mold in the home, and financial barriers to asthma-related health care. Interventions addressing modifiable factors could reduce asthma-related hospitalizations among older adults.