Objective: To characterize disparities in childhood health outcomes by socioeconomic status (SES) and race/ethnicity in a mixed rural-urban US community. Methods: This was a retrospective population-based study of children 18 years and younger residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota, in 2009. The prevalence rates of childhood health outcomes were determined using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Socioeconomic status was measured using the HOUsing-based SocioEconomic Status index (HOUSES), derived from real property data. Adjusting for age and sex, logistic regression models were used to examine the relationships among HOUSES, race/ethnicity, and prevalence of childhood health outcomes considering an interaction between HOUSES and race/ethnicity. Odds ratios were calculated using the lowest SES quartile and non-Hispanic white participants as the reference groups. Results: Of 31,523 eligible children, 51% were male and 86% were of non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity. Overall, lower SES was associated with higher prevalence of bronchiolitis, urinary tract infection, asthma, mood disorder, and accidents/adverse childhood experiences (physical and sexual abuse) in a dose-response manner (P<.04). Prevalence rates of all childhood conditions considered except for epilepsy were significantly different across races/ethnicities (P<.002). Racial/ethnic disparities for asthma and mood disorder were greater with higher SES. Conclusion: Significant health disparities are present in a predominantly affluent, non-Hispanic white, mixed rural-urban community. Socioeconomic status modifies disparities by race/ethnicity in clinically less overt conditions. Interpretation of future health disparity research should account for the nature of disease.
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