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National Healthcare Disparities Report, 2004

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Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases include upper respiratory diseases (sinusitis and pharyngitis); chronic lower respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD); and acute lower respiratory diseases (pneumonia and influenza). Asthma affects about 15 million people and COPD affects about 11 million people in the Nation29. In 2002, chronic lower respiratory disease and acute lower respiratory disease were the fourth and seventh leading causes of death respectively30. Annual costs of respiratory diseases exceed $132 billion, including $76 billion in health care expenditures. Some respiratory conditions, such as asthma and tuberculosis, are more prevalent among minorities and people with low incomes31,32. Racial differences in care of respiratory diseases have also been observed33,34,35. Vaccination is an effective strategy for reducing illness, death, and disparities associated with pneumococcal disease and influenza36,37.

Figure 2.5. High risk adults ages 18-64 who had influenza vaccination in the past year, by race, ethnicity, and income, 2000-2001

Figure 2.5. High risk adults ages 18-64 who had influenza vaccination in the past year, by race, ethnicity, and income, 2000-2001. Select Full Text Description [D] for details.

[D] Select for Full Text Description.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2000-2001.

Reference population: Civilian, noninstitutionalized high risk adults age 18-64.

Note: Measure is age adjusted. High risk conditions include diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer. For findings related to all respiratory diseases measures, go to Tables 2.8a and 2.8b.

  • In both 2000 and 2001, the proportion of high risk adults age 18-64 who received influenza vaccination in the past year was lower among blacks compared with whites and among the poor and near poor compared with people with high incomes (Figure 2.5).
  • The proportion of high risk adults who received influenza vaccination was also lower among Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites and higher among Asians compared with whites in 2001.
  • The proportion of high risk adults who received influenza vaccination declined significantly between 2000 and 2001 among whites, people of more than one race, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics but rose among Asians.

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately poor. To distinguish the effects of race, ethnicity, and income on health care quality, measures are presented by income level.

Figure 2.6. High risk adults ages 18-64 who had influenza vaccination in the past year, by race (top) and ethnicity (bottom) stratified by income, 2001

Figure 2.6. High risk adults ages 18-64 who had influenza vaccination in the past year, by race stratified by income, 2001. Select Full Text Description [D] for details.

[D] Select for Full Text Description.

Figure 2.6. High risk adults ages 18-64 who had influenza vaccination in the past year, by ethnicity stratified by income, 2001. Select Full Text Description [D] for details.

[D] Select for Full Text Description.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2001.

Reference population: Civilian, noninstitutionalized high risk adults age 18-64.

Note: Measure is age adjusted. High risk conditions include diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer.

  • Income explains some but not all of the differences in rates of influenza vaccination among high risk adults by race and ethnicity.
  • Racial and ethnic differences tend to be larger among high income groups than among the poor and near poor (Figure 2.6).
  • No group achieved the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) goal of 60% of high risk adults age 18-64 vaccinated against influenza.

 

 

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