Navigation Links
17,000 Child Deaths Linked to Lack of Insurance
Date:10/29/2009

Kids without coverage are more apt to die while hospitalized, study finds,,,,

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 17,000 children in the United States might have died unnecessarily over nearly two decades because they didn't have health insurance, according to a report from researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.

They found that kids who lacked health insurance were 60 percent more likely to die in the hospital than were kids who had insurance. After adjusting for such differences as race and gender, uninsured kids were still 37.8 percent more likely to die than kids with insurance coverage.

David C. Chang, co-director of the pediatric surgery outcomes research group at Hopkins and a study co-author, said he could not think of a medical treatment that has such a dramatic impact on health outcomes as health insurance seemingly does.

"This is actually something we as a society ... can choose to do something about," he said. "It's literally with the stroke of somebody's pen, this could be changed."

The article was published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of Public Health.

Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a bipartisan child and family advocacy group, noted that data from the U.S. Institute of Medicine have shown that people who are uninsured have a higher mortality rate.

"You knew that it existed, you knew that there were cases [of child deaths related to lack of insurance], but I think this data is pretty shocking and really points to the need for national health reform," Lesley said.

In one of his first acts after taking office in January, President Barack Obama signed legislation reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The measure also provided funding for states to add several million more children to the rolls though 2013.

"CHIP has really worked and been very important and insures about 7 million kids in the country," Lesley said. Still, he said, roughly 6.5 million children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP remain uninsured -- for whatever reason.

Enrollment barriers are part of the problem, explained Lesley, whose organization endorses legislative proposals to move toward a "default enrollment" system. "The presumption should be the kid's enrolled, and let's figure out what program they're in," he said.

The Johns Hopkins team looked at the relationship between insurance status and kids' mortality to better inform the CHIP debate.

Using records from two large databases, lead author Dr. Fizan Abdullah, Chang and colleagues examined more than 23 million hospitalizations of people younger than 18.

Over an 18-year period though 2005, 117 million children were hospitalized. Nearly 6 million kids were uninsured at the time of admission. In all, 38,649 children died while hospitalized.

Uninsured kids were 1.6 times more likely to die than children who had insurance.

Assuming that the insured and uninsured populations are identical, the difference in risk of mortality was 60 percent. The authors' actual predicted mortality is lower, however, because factors such as age, race and gender are associated with risks that affect outcomes, Chang explained.

"The 60 percent is the theoretical difference, and the 37 percent is the actual difference that you see in real life," he said. "Our extrapolation is based on that more conservative number."

The study includes some data from the period before CHIP was enacted in 1997. Though fewer kids are uninsured today than two decades ago, Chang said, that would not skew the risk of death from lack of insurance.

And though the study does not prove that being uninsured boosts a child's mortality risk, it does suggest a strong association between insurance status and odds of dying.

"I think the message is insurance is a choice we can make as a society, and this is something that we should consider," Chang said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has more on the Children's Health Insurance Program.



SOURCES: David C. Chang, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., co-director, Outcomes Research, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Bruce Lesley, president, First Focus, Washington, D.C.; Oct. 30, 2009, Journal of Public Health, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Memry Corporation FY 2007 Revenues $51.7M; Net Income $317,000 or $0.01 Per Share
2. Another Round: Wine-Tasting Benefits Georgias Children, Again
3. Childrens Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Announces Scott Leitz as New Director of Child Health Policy and Advocacy
4. Pittsburgh Partners Launch Promising Family-Centered Care Model: Special Focus on Promoting Parental Well-Being and Healthy Child Development
5. Child Neurology Foundation Announces $30,000 Grant for Research Into Cause and Treatment of Infantile Spasms
6. Health Partners to Offer Health Insurance Through the Childrens Health Insurance Program
7. Antipsychotic Medications Cause Substantial Weight Gain in Children and Adolescents, According to Scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Zucker Hillside Hospital
8. Dr. Lawrence Brown Named President of the Child Neurology Foundation
9. Nothing But Nets Delivers Anti-Malaria Nets to Children and Families in Uganda
10. 1 shot of gene therapy and children with congenital blindness can now see
11. Childhood cancer survivors experience suicidal thoughts decades after diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Hayes, Inc., ... a new eBook titled “ 5 Questions to Ask Before Entering the Maze ... the Genetic Test Evaluation (GTE) team, the book explores the various types of ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... EdChoice and ... of school choice can promote economic development in economically distressed urban areas. The ... to the report, contributed to the economic development of the city of Santa ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... MindTouch , the leading provider ... to announce Touchpoints integrations. MindTouch Touchpoints easily integrate product documentation with ... provide a seamless customer experience. , Truly “plug and play,” Touchpoints are easily ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... ... As a leading dental practice, Wall Centre Dental supports Stroke Awareness Month ... bleeding gums in Vancouver, BC, may be developing gingivitis, the first stage of ... and diabetes. Drs. Parviz Roshan, Siamak Tehrani and Milton Reskovich offer laser gum therapy ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... This year, participants ... focused on finding product improvements that could reduce the occurrence of unplanned extubations ... need help breathing or to provide medication. Sometimes, patient movement can cause unplanned ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Exactly 50 years ago today, the Monterey ... became known as the San Francisco "Summer of Love."  To ... two radical innovations in strategic market research portals that it ... the beginning of Northern Light,s "Summer of Love (For Our ... ...
(Date:6/12/2017)... Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the ... President of R&D and Head of Virology Kristin Bedard has ... the Northwest and Beyond meeting sponsored by Life Science ... from 8:30-10:30 AM PDT at the Agora Conference Center in ... Bedard will be joined by other leaders in infectious disease ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... Fla. , June 8, 2017  Less than ... that hit more than 200,000 companies, including hospital networks, ... being heralded as one of the largest online extortion ... in the healthcare market, it is imperative that providers ... protect their data from this — and many other ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: