Cincinnati Children's Blog

Neighborhoods May Soon be the New Pediatric Vital Sign

Simply knowing a child’s home address and some socioeconomic data can serve as a vital sign – helping hospitals predict which children admitted for asthma treatment are at greater risk for re-hospitalization or additional emergency room visits, according to new research led by Cincinnati Children’s.

The use of a so-called “geographic social risk index,” based on census measures of poverty, home values and number of adults with high school degrees, also can help hospitals identify families likely to report financial or psychological hardship – both of which are linked to adverse asthma outcomes, says Dr. Andrew Beck, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study.

“The use of this data to help identify children admitted to the hospital with asthma who may need more aggressive, targeted assessments and/or interventions may prevent asthma attacks and reduce disparities,” says Dr. Beck.

Read more about the study.

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