A study of 4315 pregnant women withasthma in the Tennessee Medicaid programfound that asthma complicationsamong low-income pregnant women werehigh, with African American women morevulnerable. Reporting in Obstetrics andGynecology (July 2005), the researchersindicated that 11% of the patients requiredemergency room visits and 6% neededhospitalization for asthma exacerbationsduring pregnancy.
Despite health coverage through Medicaid,African American women experiencedmore asthma complications, comparedwith Caucasians. A look at prenatal careshowed that African American womenreceived less care than Caucasian women,based on the timing of their first prenatalvisits and services received. Of the participants,only 16% were taking inhaled medicationswhile pregnant. Overall, 13%ended up requiring at least one prescriptionfor "rescue" corticosteroids to control asthmasymptoms.