Measurement of Physiologic Health for Children

Volume 1, Allergic Conditions

by Sjoerd Beck, Kathleen N. Lohr, Caren Kamberg, George A. Goldberg, Robert H. Brook


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Asthma, hay fever, and eczema are discussed together because they share a common etiologic factor--the so-called atopic state. Data on their prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) to investigate the effect of different levels of health insurance on health and quality of care. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, outlines the HIE definitions of the conditions, describes HIE methods for measuring their presence, discusses enrollment results from the HIE population, and lists criteria for good medical care. Illustrative findings include: the prevalence of asthma and hay fever was higher among boys than girls, and the reverse for eczema. Hay fever had the highest prevalence rates of the three allergic conditions. Children with eczema appeared to consult physicians for their condition more often than children with either hay fever or asthma. The adverse impacts, particularly for children with ongoing ailments, were substantial for all three conditions.

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