Eczema Health Care Utilization Down in Black Children

HealthDay News — Non-Hispanic black children have lower health care utilization for eczema, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Using data from the 2-year cohorts of the 2001 to 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, Alexander H. Fischer, MD, MPH, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues performed a cohort study involving 2043 non-Hispanic white (reference), non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic white individuals aged under 18 years with caregiver reported eczema. The authors assessed health care utilization over a 2-year follow-up period by race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that the likelihood of reporting an ambulatory visit for eczema was lower for non-Hispanic blacks than whites (adjusted odds ratio .69) among all children with eczema. Among those with 1 or more ambulatory visit for eczema, more visits and prescriptions were reported by non-Hispanic blacks than whites (adjusted incidence ratio 1.68 and 1.22, respectively); they were also more likely to report a dermatology visit for eczema (adjusted odds ratio 1.82).

“Our findings suggest disparities in health care utilization for eczema among non-Hispanic black children despite utilization patterns suggestive of more severe disease,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Fischer AH, Shin DB, Margolis SI, Takeshita JT. Racial and ethnic differences in health care utilization for childhood eczema: an analysis of the 2001-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys [published online September 27, 2017]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.08.035