This past Saturday, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center presented a study that revealed that children in single-parent families are 50% more likely to return for hospital care of their asthma than children in two-parent homes. This was presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) annual meeting in Boston.
The study also revealed that children were more likely to return for hospital care for their asthma, if their family's annual income was less than $60,000 a year.
This study, presented at the ACAAI annual meeting, has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore, it can only be considered a preliminary report. However, pediatricians see this every day; there is a definite socio-economic impact on childhood asthma. In general, single-parent families are more overwhelmed and have less of an income than two-parent families. Who is there to take turns when it comes to missing work, administering medications, and catching up on much needed sleep when caring for a sick child? This is yet another reminder that single-parent families need more support. Support can come from other family members, friends, and in some cases the employer. Ineitably, where there is more parental support, the child with asthma is healthier.