Introduction Asthma prevalence is growing in many countries. The prevalence of asthma is particularly high in developed countries. In Poland asthma morbidity is growing. The aim of this study was to assess the hospital morbidity in Poland and to examine the area-based factors area (socioeconomic, accessibility to the health services and air pollution) that influence morbidity.
Methods We used data from the “Hospitalisation” project in which the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Hygiene collect data on hospital admissions across the country. An asthma hospitalisation was defined as a hospitalisation ICD 10 coded J45 or J46 between 2004 and 2006. Data on the population, healthcare accessibility and the level of air pollution at the voivodship level for the same years was also used.
Results An increase in asthma hospitalisation rates was observed over the study period with regional variation in hospital morbidity. Asthma hospitalisation rates were related to the level of average wage (β=−1.69, p<0.001), physician accessibility (β=1.50, p=0.002), the percentage of young people in population (β=−0.43, p=0.040) and sulphur dioxide air pollution level (β=−0.79; p=0.006).
Conclusions There is high variation in asthma hospital morbidity according to voivodships in Poland which can be partially explained, at the population level, by access to healthcare services and air pollution.