Date of Conferral





Public Health


Cheryl B. Cullen


Active asthma and asthma-related health care utilization are higher among adult females than they are among adult males in Puerto Rico. The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of the risk of active asthma and associated health care utilization and asthma control among women in Puerto Rico. Guided by the Andersen behavioral model, the study included data from the Asthma Call-Back Survey (ACBS) during 2011 and 2012 in Puerto Rico. The associations between active asthma and behavioral, demographic, and environmental factors were assessed using logistic regression. The relationship between asthma-related health care utilization and predisposing, enabling, and need factors was examined using multiple linear regression. The association between achieved level of asthma control and asthma-related healthcare utilization was investigated using multinomial logistic regression. Results of the logistic regression indicated that being out of work, being in a middle income category, and being obese significantly increased the odds of active asthma. Being self-employed and being in the income category of $15,000-$25,000 significantly predicted the frequency of emergency room visits (ERVs). Results of the multinomial logistic regression indicated that physician urgent visit and ERV were significantly associated with poorly controlled asthma symptoms. The positive social change implication of these findings is that the identified risk factors can be used to develop asthma management plans to prevent and control asthma attacks in at-risk populations and reduce asthma-related health care utilization cost